Skip to main content

Full text of "The place-names of Bedfordshire"

See other formats


THE PLACE-NAMES 



OF 



BEDFOEDSHIEE 



PUBLICATIONS: OCTAVO SERIES 
No. XLII. 



THE PLACE-NAMES 



OF 



BEDFORDSHIRE 



BY THE 



Rev. WALTER W. SKEAT, Litt.D., D.C.L, LL.D, Ph.D., F.B.A., 

ELRINGTON AND BOSWORTH PROFESSOR OF ANGLO-SAXON 
AND FELLOW OF CHRIST's COLLEGE. 




PRINTED FOR THE CAMBRIDGE ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY. 

SOLD BY DEIGHTON, BELL & CO. ; and MACMILLAN & BOWES. 
LONDON, GEORGE BELL AND SONS. 

1906 



Cambrttfgr: 

PRINTED BY JOHN CLAY, M.A. 
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. 



LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

SANTA BARBARA 



CONTENTS. 



Prefatory Remarks . . .... 

1. The suffix -borough : — Eddlesborough 

2. The suffix -bourne, -burn : — Husborne Crawley, Melch 

bourne, Redbouruestoke, Woburii .... 

3. The suffix -bridge : — Stanbridge 

4. The suffix -brook : — Millbrook, Sharnbrook, Tilbrook 

5. The suffix -bury : — Howbury, Liiuliury, Millowbury . 

6. The suffix -cliff : — HocklifFe 

7. The suffix -cote, -cot : — Biscott, Caldecote, Caulcott, East 

cotts, Holcut, Thorncote ...... 

8. The suffix -den, -dean : — Dean, Ravensden, Stagsden 

Stodden, Wilden, Yielden 

9. The suffix -dish : — Farndish 

10. The suffix -down, -don : — Battlesden, Caddington, Har- 

lington, Harrowden, Honeydon, Maulden, Pegsdon, Roxton, 
(Ruxox), Shillington, Stondon, Sundon, Old Warden . 

11. The suffix -ey : — Arlesey, Sandy, Turvey . 

(12. The suffix -field : — Cranfield, Froxfield, Wingtield . 

13. The suffix -fold : — Stotfold 

14. The suffix -ford : — Barford, Bedford, Girtford, Langford 

Salford, ShefFord, Stanford, Temp.sford 

15. The suffix -grave : — Chalgrave, Leagrave, Potsgrove . 

16. The suffix -hale : — Meppershall, Pertenhall, Renhold 

17. The suffix -ham: — Biddenham, Blunham, Bromham, Clap 

ham, Felmersham, Higham, Pavenhani, Studham 

18. The suffix -hanger : — Moggerhanger, Polehanger 

19. The suffix -hatch : — Hatch 



PAGE 

1 



10 
12 

13 

17 
17 
18 

19 
22 
23 

24 
27 
27 



VI CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

20. The suffix -head : — Manshead, Swineshead .... 27 

21. The suffix -heath : — Heath 28 

22. The suffix -hill :— Ampthill, Clophill, Odell, Puddlehill, 

Pulloxhill, WroxhiU 28 

23. The suffix -hoe :— Bletsoe, Budna, Cainhoe, Keysoe, Millow, 

Putnoe, Salpho, Segeuhoe, Sharpenhoe, Silsoe, Staploe, 
Totternho 29 

24. The suffix -holt : — Eversholt 32 

25. The suffix -hurst :— Bolnhurst, Gravenhurst ... 33 

26. The suffix -ill : — Northill, Southill 33 

27. The suffix -ing :— Knotting, Marston Pillinge, Weston Ing 34 

28. The suffix -lake : — Fenlake 36 

29. The suffix -ley : — Aspley Guise, Crawley, Cockayne Hatley, 

Nares Gladly, Oakley, Prestley, Riseley, Steppingley, Stopsley, 
Streatley, Thurleigh, Willey 36 

30. The suffix -low : — Heulow 39 

31. The suffix -mead : — Bushmead 40 

32. The suffix -mount : — Ridgmount 41 

33. The suffix -pool : — Cople 41 

34. The suffix -sand : — Chicksand 42 

35. The suffix -snade : — Whipsnade 42 

36. The suffix -staple : — Dunstable 43 

37. The suffix -stead : — Wilshamstead 44 

38. The suffix -stoke : — Redbournestoke . . . . . 44 

39. The suffix -stow : — Elstow 44 

40. The suffix -thorpe : — Thrup End, Souldrop ... 46 

41. The suffix -town, -ton: — Barton in the Clay, Beeston, 

Campton, Carlton, Chalton, Charlton, Clifton, Clipstone, 
Dunton, Eaton Socon, Eaton Bray, Everton, Flitton, 
Houghton Conquest, Houghton Regis, Kempston, Leighton 
Buzzard, Luton, Marston Morteyne, Marston Pillinge, 
Milton, Potton, Shelton, Staughton, .Stratton, Sutton, 
Weston Ing, Wootton, Wyboston, Chawston ... 47 

42. The suffix -ington :— (a) Billington, Cardington, Goldington, 

Lidlington, Podington, Toddington ; (6) Chellington, Egging- 

ton, Stevington, Willington, Wymington .... 57 

43. The suffix -tree : — Wixamtree 60 



CONTENTS. Vll 

PAGE 

44. The suffix -wade : — Biggleswade 61 

45. The suffi.x -well : — Holwell, Ickwell, Radwell, Sewell . 61 

46. The suffix -wick : — Astwick, Flitwick, Hardwick, Hinwick 62 

47. The suffix -wold : — Harrold 63 

48. The suffix -worth : — Colmworth, Edworth, Eyworth, Teb 

worth, Tilsworth, Wrestlingworth 63 

49. The suffix -yate : — Markyate 65 

50. Miscellaneous names : — Beadlow, Brogborow, Broom, Chil- 

tern, End, Haynes, Holme, Hyde, Kensworth, Pickshill, 
Reach, Rowney, Sextous, Someries Farm, Sudbury, Thick- 
thorn, Thorn, Tingrith, Upbury, Wrest Park ... 65 

51. Remarks 68 

Conclusion 70 

Index 71 



THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFOEDSHIRE. 



Prefatory Remarks. 

In 1901 my essay on "The Place-names of Cambridgeshire " 
was published for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, and a 
little later the same Society published my second essay of the 
same character on " The Place-names of Huntingdonshire." 
In 1904 the East Herts. Archseological Society accepted from 
me and published a somewhat larger pamphlet on " The Place- 
names of Hertfordshire," nearly all of which had previously 
appeared from time to time in the columns of the Hertfordshire 
Mercury. 

The Editor of the Bedfordshire Standard kindly granted 
me permission to send him, from time to time, during the year 
1905, portions of a similar essay on " The Place-names of 
Bedfordshire," which now appears in a revised form ; on which 
account I am indebted, for the third time, to the Cambridge 
Antiquarian Society. 

A few preliminary considerations, of wide application, may 
conveniently be here given. 

1. The place-names of Bedfordshire are nearly all of native 
English origin ; and are always formed according to the strict 
rules of Anglo-Saxon grammar. 

2. Nearly all these names are of one or two types. Either 
they are significant of possession, like Eversholt ; or they are 
descriptive of position, like Millbrook. The former name refers 
to a holt, i.e. a plantation or wooded hill, which was first 
permanently taken possession of by a squatter whose name, in 
modern spelling, would be Ever; whilst the latter refers to a 

C. A. S. Octavo Series. No. XLII. 1 



2 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

brook on which some one built a useful and conspicuous mill. 
The name Evei^ occurs again in Evers-den (Cambs.) and in 
Evers-ley (Hants.). It is spelt etier in Middle English (where 
the u is sounded as v), Eofor in Anglo-Saxon, Eher in German, 
and Aper in Latin. The literal sense is ' a boar,' but it was 
freely used as a personal name. The English name Eofor occurs 
in the famous old poem entitled Beowulf, and the Roman name 
Aper is mentioned by Tacitus. The German Eber-hart (hard 
or strong boar) was spelt Euerard by the Normans ; whence our 
modern Everard. 

A place-name like Millbrook is formed, like cart-horse, by 
simple juxtaposition ; but in possessive names the former part 
of the word occurs in the genitive case. Evers- answers to the 
A.S. (Anglo-Saxon) eofor-es, gen. of eofor. The genitive form 
depends, in Anglo-Saxon, partly on gender ; but if we confine 
our attention to the names of men, which are masculine, the 
rules are not difficult. In fact, these two will suffice. 

1. If the nominative ends in -i (in very early times) or in 
-e (as is more usual) or in a consonant, then the genitive ends 
in -es. Examples : Ini, later form Ine, gen. Ines ; Eofor, gen. 
Eofores. Ini or Ine was a famous king of Wessex, only known 
(I fear) to most of us in the Latinised form Ina; which was 
certainly not his real name. 

2. Nearly all other nominatives end in -a, and take a 
genitive in -an. Thus the genitive of Offa is Offan. 

Conversely, the genitive form Ines assures us at once that 
the nominative could not have been Ina in true English. But 
it may be said, once for all, that our old Latin historians made 
a sad hash of all native names. 

The only book that seems to have been occasionally consulted 
by former investigators is the celebrated Domesday Book ; but 
it must be remembered that in many cases this famous record 
only gives Norman spellings, and that such spellings not un- 
frequently misrepresent such English sounds as the Norman 
scribes could not easily pronounce. It is usually the case that 
a somewhat later spelling by a native scribe gives a far better 
idea of the true sound of the name. 



PREFATORY REMARKS. 3 

The most authentic sources of information are the Ansflo- 
Saxon Charters. I refer to the well-known editions by Kemble 
and Birch, and to the select charters edited by Earle and Thorpe. 
We find also a few names in the Crawford Charters, edited by 
Napier and Stevenson. There is no good county histor3^ The 
account of Bedfordshire in Camden's Britannia is very brief and 
poor, and the few remarks upon place-names are worthless. 
His statement that Bedford "implies beds and inns at a ford" 
is ludicrous, and cannot be reconciled with his other (correct) 
statement, that one A.S. form of the name was Bedan-ford. 
For the A.S. bed is neuter, with a gen. singular beddes and a 
genitive plural bedda ; and not one of its cases ends in -an. 
Moreover, it doubles its d in the course of declension. 

Besides the Charters, it is also necessary to consult the A.S. 
Chronicle, and any other early writings in which place-names 
are mentioned. Some of the Charters only exist in late copies, 
and some of these exhibit Norman spellings, the peculiarities 
of which must be allowed for. 

I append the names of some other useful records ; with the 
abbreviations which denote them. 

A.M. — Annales Monastici, ed. H. R. Luard (Rolls Series) ; vol. iii. 

1866. TRis volume contains the Annales Prioratus de Dun- 

staplia. 
Cat. — A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds (Record Series). 
C.R. — Charter Rolls ; Calendar of the Charter Rolls in the Piililic 

Record Office ; vol. i. a.d. 1226—1257. Ed. 1903. 
CI. R. — Close Rolls ; Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum in Turri Londin- 

ensi asservati. Ed. T. D. Hardy (18.33). Vol. i. (1204—1224). 
CI. R. 2.— The same (1844) ; vol. ii. (1224-1227). 
D.B. — Domesday Book. 

E.T.— Ecclesiastiea Taxatio (1291). Ed. 1802. 
Ex. R. — Exchequer Rolls ; Rotulorum Originalium in Curia Scaccarii 

Abbreviatio ; vol. i. Ed. 1805. 
F.A. — Feudal Aids (Record Series) ; vol. i. 
H.R. — Hundred Rolls (Rotuli Hundredorum) ; vol. i. 
H.R., vol. ii. — The same ; vol. ii. 
I. p.m. — Inquisitiones post Mortem, sive Escaetarum ; ed. J. Caley ; 

vol. i. (Record Series). 
R.B.— Red Book of the Exchequer ; ed. W. D. Selby (Rolls Series). 

See the index in vol. iii. 

1—2 



4 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

E.G. — Ramsey Chartulary ; ed. W. H. Hart. See the index in 

vol. iii. 
T.N. —Testa de Nevill (Hen. III.— Edw. I.). 
T.R. — Tower Rolls ; Rotuli Chartarum in Turri Londinensi asservati ; 

ed. T. D. Hardy (1837). 

Many of these contain an index of personal names as well 
as of place-names. Both should be consulted, because many 
of the former refer to the latter. 

When I cite an Anglo-Saxon personal name as being on 
record, I mean that it is duly inserted in Searle's Onomasticon 
Anglo-Saxonicum, which contains a fairly complete list of all 
such A.S. names as are found in printed documents. 

In explaining the meanings of place-names, it is best and 
clearest to arrange them according to the suffixes which they 
contain. Thus Melchbourne and Woburn will be considered 
together, because both contain the suffix -houime or -hum. 

The number of suffixes found in Bedfordshire is upwards of 
forty, and they are all of native English origin ; a fact which is 
of great significance. There is scarcely a trace of Norse or 
Danish, and if there be any Celtic, it only occurs in river-names, 
which I do not pretend to explain. A good deal of worthless 
talk has been spent in the past in trying to find Celtic origins 
for many words that are not Celtic at all. There has never 
been much Welsh in Bedfordshire since the time of Ecgberht, 
at the latest. 

The English suffixes found in Bedfordshire are, most of 
them, readily intelligible, and may conveniently be here 
enumerated. The chief ones are : -borough, -bourne, -bridge, 
-brook, -bury, -cliff, -cote or -cot, -den, -dish, -don, -ey, -field, 
-ford, -grave, -hale (-hall), -ham, -hanger, -head, -hill, -hoe, -holt, 
-hurst, -ing, -lake, -ley, -low, -mead, -mount (-mont), -pool, -sand, 
-snade, -stead, -stoke, -stow, -thorpe {-drop), -ton, -tree, -wade, 
-well, -wick, -wold, -worth, and -yate. Some of these require 
some elucidation, but they are not difficult. It is further con- 
venient to consider at the same time such names as Hatch and 
Heath, because they are used as suffixes in other counties, 
though they here occur alone. A few other names are noted 
afterwards. 



THE SUFFIXES -BOROUGH, -BOURNE. 5 

As to the names selected, they include all (I believe) that 
are recorded in Kelly's Post Office Directory of Bedfordshire 
(1903); not excepting small hamlets that are included under 
the heading of the parish in which they are situate. The 
smallest appears to be Budna, included in Northill, and repre- 
sented in the Directory by a single house. 

The various suffixes above noted will now be discussed in 
their alphabetical order. Nearly all the names are to be found 
in Bacon's County Atlas, though they are not all in the index. 
The index to Philips' County Atlas is, on the whole, a better 
one. Pigot's Atlas (1831) has some older spellings. 



1. Borough. 

Borough is from the A.S. hurh, of which the oldest sense 
was a small fort. The dative case hyrig is the source of the 
modern E. hary. See further under BuRY (p. 8). 

Eddlesborough. — Bacon's Atlas marks Eddlesborough 
Green, near Eaton Bray, as being in Beds., though Eddles- 
borough itself is in Bucks. However, as the sense is certain, 
it may as well be here considered. We find these spellings : 
Edolvesbur, Cat.; Edulvesburwe, F.A.; Eadidfes-, as a prefix 
in Kemble's Index to his Codex Diplomaticus. Eadulf is a 
late spelling of Eadwulf; and the meaning is ' Eadwulf's 
borough.' Elstree in Herts, means ' Eadwulf's tree.' Of the 
common name Eadwulf, no less than eighty examples have 
been recorded. 

2. Bourne, Burn. 

The A.S. hum meant a brook or a small stream. Examples 
occur in Husborne Crawley, Melchbourne, Redbornestoke, and 
Woburn. 

Husborne Crawley. — Called in Philips' Atlas by the 
name of Crawley Husborne. In Pigot, Husborn and Crawley 
are marked as separate, Husborn being the more northerly. 
Bacon marks a Crawley Heath. When double names of this 



6 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

kind occur, one of them (usually the latter) is often the name 
of the chief family resident in (or once owners of) the place in 
question. But in this case both names are place-names in 
origin, though Crawley became a family name also. We find 
the following old spellings: — Grawelai, D.B.; Craulee, T.N.; 
Husseburn, E.T. ; Hussehurne, R.B., I.p m., A.M.; Husseburne 
Crauele, F.A.; Hussehurne Craiuel, H.R. In a great many 
instances, the suffix -e, as found in D.B. and other Middle 
English spellings, represents the A.S. suffix -an, a genitive 
form from a nominative in -a ; and so, in this case likewise, 
Husse represents Hussan, genitive of the A.S. name Hussa, of 
which four examples are known. Hence Husborne means 
' Hussa's stream.' The stream is also known as Crawley Brook. 
The meaning of Crawley is given under -LEY (p. 37). 

Melchbourne. — Spelt Melceburne, D.B.; Melchehurne, R.C.; 
Melcheburn, H.R., E.T., T.R. ; Melchbourne, F.A. The prefix 
answers in form to the Middle English melche, milche, modern 
E. milch, full of milk ; but this epithet seems only to be applied 
to cows. Another melch, in the English Dialect Dictionary, 
means ' mellow ' or ' soft,' but seems to be only applied to fruit 
or eatables. There is another melske in a Danish dialect, given 
by Molbech, answering to A.S. inilisc, which meant 'sweet,' as 
applied to mead or to a honeyed drink. It is possible that the 
last of these is here referred to. 

Redbournestoke. — Here Redbourne seems to mean 'red 
stream '; see further under -stoke (p. 44). 

WoBURN.— Spelt Woburne, Woberne, D.B.; Woburne, R.B.; 
Woburn, H.R.; Wouburne, F.A.; Wuburn, Cat. In an A.S. 
Charter dated 969, mention is made of the Woburningas 
or men of Woburn ; see Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 517. From 
A.S. woh bum ; literally, ' crooked stream.' I find it impossible 
to trace streams on the new Ordnance map ; what with 
' contour-lines ' and boundary lines, the task is hopeless. Any 
other map is often clearer ; the crooked stream appears in 
Pigot's Atlas (1831). 



the suffixes -bridge, -brook. 7 

3, Bridge. 

Stanbridge. — Spelt Stanhrigge, F.A.; Staribrugge, A.M.; 
Stanhruge, I. p.m. The A.S. brycg, a bridge, is spelt both 
hrigge and hrugge in Middle English. The whole name appears 
in the A.S. Stanhi-ycg, i.e. ' stone bridge.' The A.S. long a is 
shortened before nh, instead of becoming the long o in stone. 
The bridge is at Stanbridge Ford, near the station, at some 
distance from the village. Stone bridges were once rare, and 
therefore notable. 

4. Brook. 

Examples occur in Millbrook, Sharnbrook, and Tilbrook. 

MiLLBROOK.— Spelt Melebroc, D.B.; Milehrok, H.R.; Mule- 
hrok, Melebroc, F.A. The vowels, e, i, u, are various ways of 
representing the A.S. y, which was sounded like the German 
modified short il, and had no invariable equivalent in the 
French alphabet used by Norman scribes. The A.S. form is 
mylen-broc ; from mylen, a mill, and broc, a brook. Mylen is 
not a native word, but borrowed from Lat. molina, a mill. 

Sharnbrook. — Spelt Scernebroc, Sernebvoc, D.B.; Scharne- 
broke, Schey^nebroke, F.A.; Scharnbrok, E.T. The Normans 
wrote both sc and s to denote sh, when an e followed. The 
A.S. prefix is scearn, meaning 'filth'; showing that the brook, 
at one time, was in a bad condition. A dung-beetle is still 
called a sham-beetle in Hampshire. 

Tilbrook.— Spelt Tilebroc, D.B.; Tylebrok, F.A. Here the 
-e, as usual, represents an A.S. genitive suffix -an ; and Tilebroc 
answers to A.S. Tilan broc, i.e. ' Tila's brook.' Many names 
ending in -a were really pet-names or shortened names, and 
Tila may very well have been a pet-name for Tilbeorht, a name 
which occurs six times. Bacon's Atlas calls the brook the river 
Til, but this is doubtless a name made out of Tilbrook ; the 
very same stream, after passing Kimbolton, is called the Kym, 
in spite of the fact that Kimbolton means ' Cynebald's town'! 



8 the place-names of bedfordshire. 

5. Bury. 

The form hury represents the A.S. byrng, really the dative 
case of hurh, a fort, modern E. borough. The sense is ' fort/ 
and it is common in many counties. Place-names, in Anglo- 
Saxon, were often in the dative case, the preposition cet 
(modern E. at) being understood. 

Examples occur in Howbury, Limbury, and Millowbury. 
Also in Ickwell Bury, and in other cases where it is written 
separately. 

Howbury lies to the North of the Ouse, between Bedford 
and Barford. The prefix Hoiu is the same as the Hough in 
Houghton, and means ' a spur of a hill,' See further under 
Houghton (p. 50). The sense is 'hill-fort.' 

Limbury. — Called in Kelly's Directory Limbury-cum-Biscot; 
and near Leagrave. These places lie to the N.W. of Luton. 
A certain John de Lymberi is mentioned in F.A., p. 145, who 
at p. 155 of the same is called John de Lyndberi. We thus 
learn that Limbury stands for an older form Lindbury, which 
is easily understood ; since the A.S. lind means a linden-tree 
or lime-tree. The sense is ' lime-tree-fort.' 

Millowbury. — Named from Millow, to the N, of Edworth ; 
which is spelt Melehou, D.B.; Melho, C.R. ; mulnho, F.A. Here 
mele, mel, muln are all from the A.S. mylen, a mill ; see 
MiLLBROOK (p. 7). Ho represents the A.S. holi, a spur of a hill ; 
which is further explained under the heading HoE (p. 29). Thus 
Millowbury is ' the fort on the mill-hill,' or ' mill-hill-fort.' 

6. Cliff. 

Cliff is here used in the sense of declivity or steep hill. It 
occurs in HocKLiFFE, whence the name of the poet Hoccleve. 
Spelt Hocheleia (in a Latinised form), D.B. Better spelt 
Hocdive, E.T., H.R., T.N. ; Hocclyve, I.p.m., F.A. 

In the will of .^thelstan -^theling, one of the six sons of 
iEthelred II., king of England, by his first wife, dated 1015, 
there is mention of land at Hocganclife ; where clife is the 
dative of clif, a cliff. This is identified with Hockliffe by 



THE SUFFIX -COTE, 9 

Thorpe, in his Diplomatarium, p. 561. The sense is 'Hocga's 
cliff.' The A.S. eg was pronounced as gg. The A.S. Hocga is 
allied to hocg, a hog; which occurs also as a proper name in 
Hocges-tun, i.e. Hog's town, noted in Kemble's Index, vol. vi. 
p. 300. 

The A.S. hocg, a hog, is not given in any dictionary, and its 
existence was not known, until it was discovered by myself in 
some fragments of a charter, written on two strips of parchment 
lately found inside a book-cover in the library of Queens' 
College, Cambridge. See Proceedings of the Camb. Phil. 
Society, Michaelmas Term, 1902 ; p. 15. 

7. Cote, or Cot. 

Cote or Got is the old word for a cottage or small detached 
house. The double form is due to the double form in Anglo- 
Saxon, viz. cote, dative, and cot, nom.; or else cotan, dat., from 
the fem. nom. cote. It occurs in Biscott, Caldecote, Caulcott, 
Eastcotts, Holcut or Hulcote, and Thorncote. 

Biscott, or Biscot; N.W. of Luton. — Short for Bishop's 
Cote. We have this on the evidence of Domesday Book, where 
it is spelt Bissopescote. The sound of 6'/^ was often denoted by 
ss by Norman scribes. 

Caldecote; E. of Northill. — Spelt Caldecote, I.p.m.; found 
also in other counties, as Cambs., Northamptonshire, Rutland 
and Warwickshire. It represents the A.S. dative cealdan cote, 
or rather the Old Mercian caldan cote, meaning ' at the cold 
cot'; as explained in my Place-names of Cambs., p. 28. By 
' cold ' was meant that it w^as in a bleak situation ; or, possibly, 
that it was a mere shelter, unprovided with a fire-place. 

Caulcott ; in Lower Shelton, near Marston Moretaine. — 
The same name, but occurring in the nom. case. Old Mercian 
cald cot, i.e. ' cold cot.' Spelt Gulcote, I.p.m. But of course it 
may have been shortened from the form above. 

Eastcotts ; near Cardington. — Spelt Estcote, KB. The 
prefix means east, formerly spelt est. 



10 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

HOLCUT, or HuLCOTE ; near Salford. — Both spellings are in 
Kelly's Directory. The former should be Holcot, as cut is 
unmeaning. Spelt Holcot, F.A.; Holcote, E.T.; Holecote, D.B. 
The last spelling represents the A.S. Holacotan, which occurs 
in King Eadgar's grant of land at Aspley, A.D. 969 ; printed in 
Birch, Cartularium Saxonicum, iii. 517. This evidently refers 
to this very place. Cotan is the dat. case of the weak fern. sb. 
cote, a cot. Hola is the A.S. hola, a hole, or hollow place, 
closely allied to the adj. hoi, hollow. The sense is ' cot in the 
hollow.' 

Thorncote ; in Northill. — I.e. ' cot by the thorn-tree.' 

8. Den, Dean. 

From the A.S. denu, a valley. Much confused with -don 
in modern names ; but they can usually be separated by the 
old spellings. Still, the separation requires great care. 

It occurs in Dean, Ravensden, Stagsden, Stodden, Wilden, 
and Yielden or Yelden. But in Battlesden, Harrowden, 
Maulden, Warden, the suffix should rather be -don ; and they 
are treated accordiugly under that heading. It is quite possible 
that both suffixes, -den and -don, may have been used in some 
instances ; -den would then refer to the valley itself, and -don 
to the hill above it. 

Dean. — A common name in many counties ; from the A.S. 
denu, dat. case dene, a valley. Spelt Bene, D.B., T.N., I.p.m. ; 
Been, B.C. Dean, in Hants., is represented by A.S. cet dene, 
where dene is the dat. case ; see Earle, Land Charters, p. 487. 

Ravensden. — Kelly remarks that it was formerly Ramesden, 
a spelling I have not found. But it makes no difference to the 
sense, because the A.S. hrmfn, a raven, was also spelt hrcemn or 
hrcem. The sense is ' Raven's valley.' Raven was a personal 
name, as well as the name of a bird. It is remarkable that 
Ramsey, in Hunts., does not mean ' Ram's island,' but ' Raven's 
island.' 

As to the old spellings, we find Ravenisden,^.'R. ; Ravenys- 
dene, F.A. ; but also Ravenesdon, E.T. ; Ravensdon, I.p.m. 



THE SUFFIX -DEN. 11 

Stagsden. — Evidently so named by popular etymology ; 
as if from stag, with whicli it has nothing whatever to do. Kelly 
says, " formerly Stachedene and Staggisdene." The latter I have 
not found ; it can only be quite a late and worthless spelling. 
The forms are : Stachdeiie, Stachedene, D.B. ; Stachedene, F.A., 
H.R., vol. ii. ; Stacheden, H.R. Also Stachesdene, F.A. ; Stachis- 
dene, H.K., vol. ii. In I. p.m. we also find mention of a place 
named Stache (Somersets.), and of a Stacheivelle. 

Stachis or StacJies appears to be not A.S., but rather the gen. 
case of a Norman form Stache, which I take to be short for 
Eustache, the Norman or Northern French equivalent of the 
French Eustace. Similarly, in the Close Rolls, we find Magister 
Stachius, short for Eustachius ; and Stace, as a proper name, is 
short fur Eustace, which was formerly accented on the a. As 
a matter of fact, D.B. records that Earl Eustace had land in 
Stagsden, so that the place may easily have been named after 
him, as he was a person of great consequence at that date. 
The land had originally been granted to his father, who is 
known to history as Count Eustace II., of Boulogne. This 
Eustace II. married no less a person than the sister of Edward 
the Confessor, and had caused no small trouble by his out- 
rageous conduct at Dover, as is duly narrated in the Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle, under the year 1048. He was wounded in the 
battle of Hastings, and was rewarded by William with grants 
of land iu no less than ten counties. See the Digest of the 
Domesday of Bedfordshire, by W. Airy, 1881 ; p. 30. It is a 
pity that Mr Airy should refer, at p. viii, to the " evident " 
derivation from "the two A.S. words stag and den"; for stag 
is not an A.S. word at all, but Norse. It occurs once, in the 
Laws of Cnut, where it has to be explained ; but did not really 
find its way into English till long afterwards. I doubt if it 
can be found earlier than the fifteenth century. 

Stodden. — The name of a hundred. Spelt Stodene, Stodden, 
D.B. ; Stodden, H.R. From A.S. stod, a stud of horses. The 
sense is ' stud-valley.' 

WiLDEN.— Spelt Wildene, D.B. ; Wglden, E.T. ; Weledeiie, 
F.A. We have here to do with a descriptive name, as the 



12 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

forms suggest. In the present case, tuil may be short for the 
A.S. m% (in which the final g was hardly heard), an occasional 
form of luelig, a willow tree, which will account for the spelling 
Wele. A willow is still called a ivilly in many provincial 
dialects. We have clear evidence that Willbury Hill (Herts.) 
is from the same source ; as shown in my Place-names of 
Herts., p. 71. The hundred of Willey is similarly named; see 
it discussed below, under the suffix -LEY (p. 39). Thus Wilden 
means 'willow-valley.' 

YiELDEN, or Yelden. — The old spellings are curious, viz. 
Giveldene, D.B. ; Givelden, CI. R. ; Gyuelden, E.T. ; Gyvelden, 
Yeveldene, F.A. The A.S. g (before i) was sounded as y ; and 
all the prefixes may be reduced to an A.S. form Gifel, in which 
the intervocalic /was sounded as v. This A.S. Gifel is a river- 
name, the same as the modern Ivel. There is another and 
larger Ivel, which flows through Biggleswade, and a third Ivel 
in Somersetshire, which flows through Ivelchester or Ilchester. 
And it is much to be suspected that the river Isle, in Somerset- 
shire, which flows past Ilminster, is only another form of the 
same name. See it further discussed under Northill (p. 34), 
which is considered under the suffix -ILL, since it is wholly 
unconnected with the more common suffix -hill. We may 
explain Yelden as Iveldene, or ' Ivel valley.' 

9. Dish. 

The English disJi (A.S. disc) is sometimes used in the sense 
of cup or hollow ; the Oxford Dictionary explains it as some- 
times meaning a concave surface, or a depression in a field. 

Farndlsh; near Poddington. — Spelt Fernadis, D.B.; Farnes- 
disch, T.N. ; Farendis, E.T. ; Farnedis, H.R., vol. ii., F.A. ; 
Farndisch, I.p.m. Also Farnadich, Farnediche, F.A. These 
forms strongly support the view that the suffix is really dish, 
and not diche. The Norman scribes usually write s for sh, but 
dice or diche for ditch. Compare the D.B, spellings Seimehroc 
for Sharnbrook, Eseltone for Shelton, and Sethlindone for Shil- 
lington. Neither does Farndish stand alone ; for there is a 
Brookdish on the N. bank of the river Waveney, a little below 



THE SUFFIX -DOWN, -DON, 13 

Scole, in Norfolk ; and there may be others. In spite of the 
varying spellings of the former element, the word meant is 
clearly the A.S. fearn, fern, which is very common in place- 
names. Kemble's Index (p. 286) has a whole column of 
instances. It is possible that Ferna- may represent the gen. 
pi. fearna, ' of ferns.' 

The sense, viz. ' fern-hollow,' is precisely the same as that of 
Farncombe in Surrey, where combe is of Celtic origin, and 
equivalent to the Welsh cium, a hollow, a dingle. 

10. Down, or Don. 

A doiun, A.S. f?««, of Celtic origin, meant a hill-fort, or often 
simply a hill, especially one with a more or less flat top. When 
it occurs as an unaccented suffix, it is reduced to the form -don, 
and is then often confused, in modern times, with the suffix 
-den, a valley, with an almost opposite sense ; and sometimes 
with -ton. We can often distinguish them by the old spellings ; 
but there may be instances in which the name was really 
double, -den being applied to the valley, and -don to the hill 
above it. 

Examples occur in Battlesden, Caddington, Harlington, 
Harrowden, Honeydon, Maulden, Pegsdon, Roxton, Shillington, 
Stondon, Sundon, and Warden. 

Battlesden. — Spelt Badelesdone, Badelestone, D.B. ; Ba- 
delesdone, F.A. ; Badelesdon, E.T. ; Badeleston, I.p.m. These 
forms answer to an A.S. Badeles dun, i.e. ' Badel's down ' ; where 
Badel is a personal name. This name is not otherwise known ; 
but the closely related weak form Badela occurs in Badekm 
broc, i.e. ' Badela's brook ' ; in Kemble, Cod. Dipl. iii. 343, 
1. J 9. As d is sometimes altered to th by confusion with the 
A.S. crossed d (with the sound of th) it is probable that the 
name Batheles mere (in R.C.) is an error for Badeles mere. 

Caddington ; near Luton. — Spelt Gadendone, D.B., F.A. ; 
Cadendon, Cat. ; Cadindon, E.T., H.R. ; Kadindon, T.N. From 
A.S. Cadan-dim, lit. ' Cada's down.' Cada is a known name. 

In this case, the original suffix -an has first become -en and 
then -in ; both of which changes are very common. And finally 



14 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

-ing lias been substituted for -in, and -don turned into -ton by 
confusion with the numerous names that end in -ington. 

Harlington, to the N.E. of Todd ington, on the Midland 
Railway. — Spelt Herlingdone, D.B., A.M. ; Herlmgdon, E.T., 
F.A., H.R. It thus appears that the original suffix was -don, 
for doivn. Herling answers to the A.S. Herlinga, gen. pi. ; as 
seen in Herlingaham, cited in Kemble's Index. Herlinga is the 
genitive of the pi. Herlingas, i.e. sons or tribe of Heid. But 
Herl is obviously a much contracted form, and due to some 
A.S. name beginning with the very common prefix Here-. 
Almost certainly, Herl here represents Herulf, a common 
contraction of Herewulf, a well authenticated name. We may 
conclude that Harlington means the ' Herewulfings' down,' or 
the down occupied by the family of Herewulf The A.S. -ing, 
meaning 'son of,' and the pi. -ingas, meaning ' sons of,' or ' family 
of,' are extremely common. Neither is there any difficulty in 
the reduction of wulf, often called ulf, to a simple I ; for it 
occurs again in Eddlesborough and Elstree, as has been already 
explained under Borough (p. 5). There is another Harlington 
in Middlesex, and an East and West Harling in Norfolk. I 
explained Harlton in Cambs. as meaning ' Herela's town,' where 
" Herela is a pet-name formed from a name beginning with 
Here — such as Herebeald or Herefrith." Of course I should 
rather have said — "such as Herewulf," which would have 
accounted for the I at once. 

Harrowden ; near Cardington. — This is a clear case of a 
double sense in the suffix, Harrowden is marked in the 
Ordnance Map as being in a valley ; but it must have taken its 
name from the hill above, marked as Tinker's Hill, and rising 
to the height of 135 feet above the sea. For the old spellings 
clearly show this. It is spelt Herghetone, Hergentone in D.B. ; 
but -tone is an error for -don. We find elsewhere Harwedone, 
R,B. ; Harewedon, I. p.m. ; and John de Har^vedone, R.C. The 
D.B. form herghe represents the A.S. hearge, dat. of hearh, a 
heathen temple. This is clearly shown in Birch, Cart. Saxon, i. 
530, where cet hearge (lit. at Harrow) is employed to denote 
Harrow-on-the-Hill, in Middlesex. The sense is ' temple-down.' 



THE SUFFIX -DOWN, -DON, 15 

We obtain, from the very names, the interesting information 
that there were once heathen temples both at Harrowden and 
on the hill at Harrow. Hearh was only applied to an old 
heathen place of worship, which was often on a hill-top. As 
the English usually destroyed these, after their conversion to 
Christianity, we can hardly expect to find relics of them now. 
Yet it is highly probable that the conspicuous church at Harrow- 
on-the-Hill occupies the very site once selected for the worship 
of idols. 

HoNEYDON, to the west of Eaton Socon. — The hill is con- 
spicuously marked in Bacon's Atlas. I find no early notice of 
it ; but it doubtless means ' honey down.' The A.S. hunig, 
honey, appears in several place-names ; notably in Honey- 
bourne, CO. Worcester, spelt hunig-hurnan (in the dative) in 
Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 2. 

Maulden, near Ampthill. — The road from Clophill to 
Maulden rises to 278 feet above the sea. The name is pro- 
bably of double significance, Maulden having been suggested 
by an older Maldon. Spellings are Meldone, D.B. ; Maldon 
(Beds.), E.T. ; Maldone, Mcddene, F.A. ; Meldone, Maudone, 
E..B. There is another Maldon in Essex, mentioned in the 
A.S. Chronicle as early as a.d. 913. It is there spelt Mcddun ; 
and in the Parker MS. the ce is marked as Ions:. This accounts 
for the spelling Meldone, with e. The A.S. mcU (with long ce) 
meant a cross, mark, crucifix; Gy^istes md'l meant the sign of the 
cross. Maldon means ' cross-down,' and it is probable enough 
that crosses were erected at both places in some conspicuous 
position. 

Pegsdon, or Pegsden ; to the east of Hexton (Herts.). — 
Spelt Pechesdone, D.B. ; Pekesdone, F.A. Also Pekesdene, 
Pekysdene, Pekesden (in Shillington), R.C. ; Pecchesdene, A.M. 
As che in D.B. means ke, usually written ce in A.S., the equivalent 
form to Pekesdone in A.S. is Peces dim or Peaces dim ; which 
may be associated with Peaces del in the will of iEthelstan 
iEtheling (a.d. 1015) in Earle, Land Charters, p. 226, 1. 1. If 
this be right, the sense was ' Peac's down' ; or, in modern spell- 
ing ' Peak's down.' The name may be connected with the Peak 



16 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

in Derbyshire, called Peac-lond in A.S. We find the name of 
Miles de Pek, who was a tenant in Shillington, and Richardus 
de Pecco ; both in R.C. 

ROXTON, N.W. of Tempsford. — Originally from a form which 
should have given Roxdon. Spelt Rochesdon, Rochestone, D.B.; 
Rokesdone, Rokesdon, F.A.; Rokisdun, Cl.R.; Rokesdon, E.T. 
The prefix answers to A.S. Hroces, gen. of Hroc, a rook, also 
used as a personal name. The sense is ' Rook's down.' 

There is a Ruxox Farm to the W. of Flitton. The spellings 
Rokesac, Rokeshoc, in A.M., explain it. Both ac and hoc repre- 
sent the A.S. dc, an oak ; so that Ruxox simply means * Rook's 
oaks,' originally ' Rook's oak,' in the singular. 

Shillington. — Beyond all doubt a more correct form is 
Shitlington, or rather Shitlingdon. It is spelt Shitlington in 
Pigot's Atlas (1831) and in Magna Britannia (1720). Still 
earlier, the suffix is -don. The old spellings are Sethlindone 
(for Shetlindone), D.B. ; Scitlwgdune, Scutlingdon, Scytlingedune, 
SchitUngedune, R.C; Shutlyngdon, Cat. In Thorpe's Diploma- 
tarium, p. 383, a late copy of a charter has the false form 
Sucklingdon, but the footnote gives Scytlingedune (for Scytlinga 
dime), from a much better MS. It may be noted that the e in 
the D.B. form, and the i and u in the other forms, all alike 
represent an A.S. y. Hence the name means ' the down of the 
Scytlings,' or sons of Scytel (or Scytela), a diminutive form 
connected with the known name Scytta, which means ' an 
archer': from sceotan, to shoot. 

Stondon, near Henlow railway-station. — Spelt Standone, 
D.B., R.C; Stondone, R.C ; Staundone, R.C; Staimdon, H.R., 
E.T. All from A.S. Stdndun (Kemble), i.e. ' stone-down.' 

Sundon." — Spelt Sonedone, D.B. ; Sonendon,F,.T.; Sunondone, 
Sunendune, A.M.; Souendone, Souyndone (with u misprinted 
for n), F.A. All from A.S. Simnan-dun, i.e. ' down of the Sun '; 
see Thorpe, Diplomatarium, p. 580. The peculiar gen. form 
sunnan, in place of the usual sunn- in composition, suggests 
that the goddess Sunne (the Sun) was once worshipped here in 
heathen times. 



THE SUFFIXES -EY, -FIELD. 17 

Warden, or Old Warden. — Spelt Wardone, D.B., F.A.; 
Wardon, H.R., E.T. ; Wardune, R.C., R.B. From the A.S. 
tueard-dun, lit. 'ward-down,' i.e. a look-out hill, a hill used for 
watching the approach of strangers. 

11. Ey. 

The suffix -ey (sometimes -y) represents the Old Mercian 
eg, A.S. leg, Ig, an island. The term was freely applied to sites 
that were not real islands, but had water partly surrounding 
them. Examples are seen in Arlesey, Sandy and Turvey. 

Arlesey. — Also spelt Arsley (as in Philips' Atlas), but 
incorrectly. Spelt Alricesei, Alriceseie, D.B.; Alrichesey, I.p.m.; 
Alricheseye, Aylrichesheye, F.A. The spelling heye for eye by 
Norman scribes is not uncommon. The fullest form is the last, 
neglecting the second h. Aylriches is the regular representative 
of A.S. ^gelrlces, a late form of jEtlielrices ; and the sense is 
' iEthelric's island.' The name jEthelric (also spelt yEgelric, 
Ailrlc) is extremely common ; more than sixty examples of it 
are known. 

Sandy. — D.B. has in Sandeia, in the ablative case ; Sandeye, 
F.A.; Saundeye, E.T.; Sondheye, H.R. Eye is the usual M.E. 
spelling ; heye is very characteristic of a Norman scribe. They 
seldom understood the true use of h before the fourteenth 
century. The sense is certainly 'sand-island'; not the adj. 
sandy (A.S. sandig), which was spelt sandy in Middle English, 
just as it is now. 

Turvey. — Spelt Toruei, Torueie, D.B. (with u for v); Turf- 
eye, Turveye, Exchequer Rolls ; Torfeye, Tourveye, F.A. ; Turveye, 
Turf eye, H.R., vol. ii.; Tureueya, E.T. We often find o written 
for u by Norman scribes. The prefix is the A.S. tuff turf; 
and the sense is ' turf-island.' 

12. Field. 

As in Cranfield, Froxfield, Wingfield. Cranfield.— Spelt 
Granfelle (for Cranfelde), D.B.; Cranefeud, T.N.; Crangfelde, 
Cranefelde, n.C; Craunfeld, E.T., F.A. Lit. 'crane-field.' In 
C.A.S. Octavo Series. No. XLII. 2 



18 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

the Aspley Charter, dated 969, printed in Birch, Cart. Saxon, 
iii. 517, there is a reference to the Cranfeldinga die, or 'dike of 
the people of Cranfield ' ; and again, to the spot where three 
boundaries met, viz. ' Crancfeldinga and Merstuninga and 
Holacotan,' i.e. of the people of Cranfield and the people of 
Marston and of Holcote. 

The spelling Crane in this passage and the spelling Grang 
in R.C. are not necessarily wrong. The German Kranich, a 
crane, has a final guttural ; so that there may very well have 
been an A.S. form crane (for *cranoc) with the sense of ' crane,' 
though the form in common use was cran. Compare the 
entries ' grus, grids, cornoch,' and ' grauis [error for grus or 
gruis ?], cornuc,' in the Corpus Glossary, 995, 996. 

Froxfield ; marked in the Ordnance Map at the entrance 
of Woburn Park on the road from Eversholt. The prefix is 
the same as in Fi^oxwell, cited in the I.p.m. In fact, we find 
Froxa-felda, dative, in a charter of 965-975, in Thorpe, Diplo- 
matarium, p. 527. The nom. is Froxa-feld, lit. 'field of frogs'; 
from A.S. fr'oxa, gen. plural ot'frox, a frog. 

WiNGFiELD ; to the S.W. of Chalgrave. — Spelt Winefelde, 
RB.; Winefeld, A.M.; so that 7ig has been substituted for n, 
and the true name is Winfield. For A.S. Winaii feld, i.e. 
' Wina's field.' 

13. Fold. 

From the A.S. falod, fald, a sheep-pen, a fold for cattle. 

Stotfold. — Spelt Stotfalt, D.B.; Stotfold, F.A.; Stotefold, 
E.T. Compare also Stotfoldeslade, R.C. It can hardly be a 
mistake for stod-fald, an enclosure for a stud of horses 
(Bosworth-Toller). The former element is, rather, the equi- 
valent of the Middle English stot, meaning (1) a horse, (2) a 
bullock ; see Stratmann's Dictionary and the English Dialect 
Dictionary. The form stotta (though not in the A.S. Diet.) 
occurs in stottan-wille, i.e. ' stot-well ' ; Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 
184 ; in a charter dated 957. We may explain the name as 
meaning 'stot-fold'; and understand stot to mean either a 
young horse or a bullock. Cf. Stottesdon, co. Salop. 



the suffix -ford. 19 

14. Ford. 

It occurs in Barford, Bedford, Girtford, Langford, Salford, 
Shefford, Stanford, Tempsford. 

Barford.— Spelt Bereforde, D.B., R.C., R.B., E.T. ; Bere- 
ford, F.A., T.N., I.p.m. The A.S. form is Beranford, better 
B(eran-fo7-d, as in Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 301. The sense is 
' Basra's ford.' 

Bedford.— Spelt Bedeford, D.B., H.R., T.N. The A.S. 
form is Bedan-for^d, A.S. Chron. (Parker MS.), a.d. 918 ; but we 
also find the forms Bedcan-ford, in the same, A.D. 571 ; and 
Biedcan-ford, also under the latter date, in MSS. Cotton, 
Tib. A. vi. and Tib. B. i., and in the Laud MS.; see Thorpe's 
edition, p. 32. The dat. case Bedan-for'da occurs in the 
Chronicle several times. 

It is usual to cite the form Bedican-ford, which it is not 
easy to find. No such form is given in Plummer's edition of 
the A.S. Chronicle, nor by Earle. It occurs in Bosworth's 
Diet., with a reference to the year 571 in the Chronicle 
(Ingram's edition). But Bedican-for^d does not occur there in 
the MSS. themselves ; we find only the dat. Bedan-forda in 
one MS., and Biedcan-forda in three others, as said above. 

Out of this dubious form, wholly misunderstood, and mis- 
pronounced with a long i instead of a short one, some ignorant 
person constructed an impossible etymology from the verb 
he-dwian, to ' be-dike ' or protect by a dike ; so that we are 
gravely informed (as in Kelly's Directory) that Bedford means 
'the protected ford.' Almost as absurd as this is the deriva- 
tion quoted from Camden in Bosworth's A.S. Dictionary, viz. 
' bedan, i.e. beduvi, lectis, /ore?, vadum ; lectos et diversoria ad 
vadum sonans.' Here there are two obvious blunders, viz. the 
misspelling of the A.S. heddum as bedum ; and next, the 
ridiculous statement that the word means lectis vadum, a ford 
with beds. It may confidently be said that fords were never 
thus provided, either in the river or beside it. 

There is absolutely no mystery at all about it; Bedan is 
the regular genitive of Beda, so that the sense is ' Beda's ford.' 
Seeing that Beda (iu the eighth century, Bceda) is the usual 

9 9 



20 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFOKDSHIRE. 

Old English spelling of the famous author more commonly 
known as ' the venerable Bede,' the name ought to be more 
familiar to us than it usually seems to be. It does not follow 
that Bedford was named after that particular Beda, but rather 
after some one of the same name ; for, according to the 
Chronicle, it was already in existence in 571, almost exactly a 
century before the ' venerable ' Beda was born. Nevertheless, 
he has made the name honourable. It is tolerably clear that 
the fable about the ' be-diking ' arose from misunderstanding 
the alternative form that is spelt Bedca in the best MS. and 
Biedca in others. To which I would add that there is a third 
form Bedeca, which appears in Bedecan Ua, ' Bedeca's lea,' in a 
charter dated 973-4 ; see Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 632, 1. 17. 
But the explanation is simple enough ; all that is meant is 
that Bedeca (otherwise Bedca or Biedca) is a diminutive form 
of Beda, or a pet-name ; just as Johnny is another form of 
John. In other words, the person referred to is the same as 
before. 

This may be illustrated by a difficulty that occurs in the 
Early English poem by Layamon entitled the Brut. No one 
has explained how it is that, in the one MS., Layamon is called 
the son of Leovenath, and in the other, the son of Leuca. Yet 
it is simple enough. Leovenath represents the A.S. Leofnoth, 
of which the pet-name was Leofa ; and an alternative pet-name 
could be formed by using the diminutive Leofeca. The form 
Leuca, in the MS. of a later date, is contracted from, and 
equivalent to, Leofeca ; just as Stukeley (Hunts.) represents 
A.S. Styfecanleah. And no more need be said, unless it be 
necessary to remind the reader that the f between two vowels 
represented the sound of v. 

GiRTFORD, in Sandy. — I find no old spelling; but it pro- 
bably means ' great ford.' Gert for great is as old as the 
fourteenth century ; see the quotation dated 1387, in the 
Oxford New Eng. Diet., section 6 c. The modern Deptford, 
near Greenwich, is spelt Depeford in Chaucer, and means 
' deep ford ' ; with a like sense. 

Langford. — To the S. of Biggleswade. There is another 



THE SUFFIX -FORD. 21 

Langford across the Ouse, just below its junction with the Ivel ; 
marked as Ford on the Ordnance Map, but Langford End is not 
far off. Spelt Langeford, D.B, F.A., T.N. The e marks the 
dative case ; the A.S. form would be cet thdm langan forda, i.e. 
' at the long ford.' 

Salford, on Crawley Brook. — The Ordnance Map marks 
Salford Ford. Spelt Saleford, D.B., E.T., H.R., T.N., R.C., F.A. 
There is another Salford in Oxon., and a third in Lanes. Sale 
represents the A.S. salig, otherwise sealh, a sally or willow-tree ; 
not derived from the Lat. salicc, but the native English name 
connate with it. Thus the sense is ' willow-ford.' 



a 



Shefford. — Spelt Sepford (with reference to Shefford in 
Beds.), H.E. Sepford is a Norman spelling of Shepford. The 
sense is ' sheep ford.' Compare Shipmeadoiv, Suffolk, and the 
numerous Shiptons. 

Stanford, to the S. of Southill. — To the E. of Stanford 
something is left of the old river, but the Ivel navigation canal 
has cut a straight course across its windings. In Bigot's map 
of 1831 the canal is absent. Spelt Stanford, D.B. ; Staunford, 
F.A. For A.S. Stan-ford, i.e. 'stone ford.' 

Tempsford. — Near the junction of the Ouse and Ivel; but 
Tempsford is on the Ivel, above the junction. Spelt Tamise- 
ford, D.B. ; Temeseford, E.T. ; Temesford, Temseford, F.A. In 
the A.S. Chronicle, under the year 921, we find Toimeseforda, 
in the dative case, and Tcemesanford under the year 1010 (in 
the Laud MS. only). The mouth of the river Thames is called 
in the same Twmesemuth, under the year 892, in the Laud MS. 
Only one conclusion seems possible, viz. that the river Ivel was 
also, at a very early date, called Tcemese, or ' the Thames.' 
Perhaps that was the Celtic name, afterwards changed by the 
English to the Gifel or Ivel. Hence Tempsford is really 
' Thamesford.' Of course Thames is a silly pseudo-learned 
spelling of Tames or Tems, with a Norman th in place of an 
A.S. t. We do not write ' Thamworth on the Thame,' or 
' Thenbury on the Theme ' ! 



22 the place-names of bedfordshire, 

15. Grave. 

Grave represents the A.S. grcef or gi'af, dat. gnefe, a 
trench. It occurs in Chalgrave, Leagrave, and Potsgrove, 
formerly Potsgrave. 

Chalgrave; to the S. of Toddington. — Spelt Gelgrave, 
D.B. ; CJudgrave, H.R. ; Chaug7xiue, T.N. ; Chcdg7'aue, E.T. ; 
I.p.m. The spelling Gel- in D.B. answers to an English spelling 
Ghel- or Glial-. 

There is a Charter dated 926 concerning land at Chalgrave 
and Tebworth ; printed in Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 334. A note 
at p. 334 suggests that perhaps Chalgrove in Oxfordshire is 
meant, but that is quite out of the question ; seeing that 
Chalgrave and Tebworth are not two miles apart. In this 
charter we find ' terram que nuncupatur Gealhgrcefan et 
Teobbanwyrthe.' We have here the dat. case grwfan, from a 
weak nominative groifa or grwfe, with the same sense as the 
strong neuter grcef, which has the dat. grcefe. Such double 
forms are not uncommon. The actual form Gealcgr^afan occurs 
in Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 304 ; with respect to a place in 
Hants. 

Gealh can hardly be other than the A.S. cealc, chalk ; with 
h for c before the g. Hence the probable sense is ' chalk- 
trench.' 

Leagrave ; to the N. W. of Luton. I find no old spelling ; 
but it is on the river Lea. Hence the sense is ' trench beside 
the Lea.' The spelling Ligrave in Magna Britannia (1720) is 
explained under LuTON (p. 52). 

Potsgrove, or Pottesgrove. — The spelling with grove is 
modern ; it is Potsgrave in Pigot's map (1831). Spelt Potes- 
graua (in the ablative case), D.B. ; Potesgrave, E.T., H.R., 
F.A. Also Portesgrave, F.A., T.N. I think Partes is a 
mistake, because the r appears neither in the modern form 
nor in that in Domesday Book. Pates is the gen. of Pot ; 
and that Pot was a real name seems to be sufficiently proved 
by the occurrence in two A.S. charters of the place-name 
Potting-tun, i.e. ' the town of the sons of Pot.' Hence the 
probable sense is ' Pot's trench.' Compare Potton (p. 54). 



the suffix -hale. 23 

16. Hale. 

The suffix -hale has long been obsolete as an independent 
word. It means ' a nook, corner, secret place,' hence ' a 
retreat ' ; and is fully explained in the New English Dictionary. 
It represents heale, hale, dative of A.S. liealh, 0. Mercian 
halch. The nominative itself appears in modern English as 
haugh, in some place-names ; see Haugh in the same Dictionary. 
Owing to its not being understood, it is usually turned into 
hall in modern English, in order to find a meaning for it. It 
occurs in Meppershall, Pertenhall, and Renhold. 

Meppershall. — Spelt Malpertesselle, D.B. ; Meiperteshale, 
R.C. ; Meperteshale, KB., F.A., H.R., E.T., Cat. ; Mapertishale, 
Cat. ; Meparteshale, Ex.R. ; Maperieshale, Tower Rolls ; Meper- 
deshale, I.p.m. The spelling in D.B. seems to be mistaken, as 
all other authorities are against it. The suffix is clearly hale, 
a nook ; as in some other counties. The -es is the genitive 
suffix. The name of the first inhabitant appears in the variant 
forms : Meipert, Mapert, Mepert ; Malpert, Meperd may be 
neglected. We have no older record of the name, so that all 
that can be said is that the sense is ' Meipert's nook ' ; where 
Meipert is a name of Norman origin, as the suffix -pert sug- 
gests. It well represents the Old High German Megipert 
(older form Magipert) ; for which see E. Forstemann's Alt- 
deutsches Namenbuch. 

I may add that Mapert has no connection with the name 
of Mapperton in Dorsetshire, The latter presents no difficulty, 
as the A.S. form is mapiildurtim ; the sense being 'mapletree- 
town.' 

Pertenhall; or, according to Kelly, 'formerly Partenhale.' 
— Spelt Pertenhall, Partenhale, D.B. ; Pertenhale, H.R., F.A., 
E.T,, I.p.m. It lies to the N. of Keysoe. 

We have a record of the same name (though not of the 
same place) in a charter dated 972, containing a grant made 
by King Eadgar to Pershore Abbey, co. Worcester, In the 
boundaries mentioned we find the following : — ' Of than hamme 
on Pyrt-broc ; andlang broces to Pyrtan-heale ; of Peartan-heal 
to hagan geate.' I.e. ' from the enclosure to Pyrt-brook ; along 



24 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

the brook to Pyrtan-healh (nom.) ; from Peartan-healh to 
haw-gate.' See Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 587. The true form of 
the dat. case is Peartan-heale ; the sense is ' Pearta's nook.' 
We need not be concerned with the form Py7'ta, because y is 
a secondary vowel, ea (Mercian a) being more original. More- 
over, the form of the name is completely established by the 
occurrence in Kemble's Index of a place-name, Peartinga- 
wyrth, i.e. 'the property (or homestead) of the sons of Pearta.' 

Renhold; to the N.E. of Bedford. — In this instance hale 
was turned into hall^ and afterwards into hold ; and further, 
Ren- has been substituted for Ron-. Spelt Ronhale, F.A. ; 
E.T. ; Ronhal, T.N. ; Ronale, H.R. ; Ronhall, I.p.m. (1286). 
In a charter of Cnut, A.D. 1018, one of the witnesses is named 
Ranig ; see Kemble, Cod. Dipl. iv. 3. This furnishes a possible 
clue. An allied weak form Raniga (not found) would give a 
genitive Ranigan ; and we might then explain the place-name 
as meaning ' Raniga's nook.' As the g in this form was pro- 
nounced as a y, and easily dropped, whilst at the same time an 
was often sounded as on, we find that Florence of Worcester 
turns the name Ranig into Roni (A.S. Chron., ed. Plummer, ii. 
219) ; and such a form as Ronian-heale would easily pass into 
Ronhale. And on the other hand, Ranhale might be turned 
into Renhale. This is the best guess which I am able to make. 
It would be difficult to form the place-name from Ranig or 
Roni directly, because the genitive case would then be Raniges 
or Ronies, and there is no trace of an s. I may add that Ranig 
is also found as Hranig, which is a more original form, 

17. Ham. 

This suffix is extremely common. In fact there are two 
words that produce it. Of these the more usual is the A.S. 
ham, a home, which becomes ham (with short a) in an unaccented 
(final) syllable ; and the other is the A.S. haimn, an enclosure. 
The former is usually employed in ' possessive ' names ; the 
latter in ' descriptive ' ones. They are here taken together, as 
they cannot always be distinguished. However, Clapham, 
Higham, and Studham seem to be the only examples of the 



THE SUFFIX -HAM. 25 

latter class. Examples occur in Biddenham, Blunham, Brom- 
haiii (or Brumham), Clapham, Felmersham, Higham, Pavenham, 
and Studham. 

Biddenham. — Spelt Bidenham, D.B,, E.T. ; Bideham, H.R. ; 
Bydenham, Ex. Rolls ; Bedenham, I.p.m. ; Bedynhani, F.A. In 
a charter relating to Chieveley, Berks., dated 951, we find a 
mention of ' Byden-ha^ma gemseres,' i.e. the boundary of the 
men of Byden-ham. The sense of hwma, a genitive plural form, 
is explained in the Crawford Charters, ed, Napier and Stevenson, 
p. 116. The ce was long, and derived from long a; so that the 
reference is to ham, a home. Byden should rather be By dan, 
gen. of Byda (with long y), a known name. Thus the sense of 
Biddenham is ' Byda's home.' The vowel in the first syllable 
has been shortened. It may be added that the original vowel 
of the name, viz. long y, accounts for the spelling Bedenham, 
as long y was sometimes expressed by long e in later English. 

Blunham. — Spelt Bluneham, D.B., Cl.R., H.R., vol. ii. ; 
Blounham, F.A. Thus the u was long, ou denoting u ; and -e 
is for -an, from nom. -a. The sense is ' Bluna's home.' Of the 
name Bluna there is no other record. 

Bromham, or Brumham (Kelly).;— Spelt Bruneham, D.B. ; 
and (wrongly) Brinieham, D.B. In the latter case un was mis- 
read as im. Also Brumham, R.C. The sense is ' Briina's 
home.' Bruna is a known name, and is a weak form allied to 
the strong form Briin, which is the modern English Brown. 
Brunham became Brunham, with short u ; and afterwards 
Brumham, by confusion with names like Bromley and 
Brompton. 

Clapham ; near Bedford. — Spelt Clopeham, D.B. ; Clopham, 
H.R., F.A., T.N. ; Gloppham, R.C. In a genuine charter of 
the time of JElfred, Clapham in Surrey appears as Cloppa-ham ; 
see Sweet, Early English Texts, p. 451. Cloppa must be a 
genitive plural of a form clop, which occurs in clop-wcer (clop- 
acre), and clop-hyrst (clop-hurst) in Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 589, 
590. The name is probably descriptive, and ham may mean 
'enclosure.' The meaning of clop is not certainly known ; but 



26 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

Kalkar's Middle Dauish Dictionary has hlop in the sense of 
' stub ' or ' stump/ which would suit all three forms. The 
modern E. clump may be related. If we explain cloppa from 
this source, it will be best to give to ham the sense of ' en- 
closure.' It would then mean ' enclosure of stubby ground/ 
lit. 'of stubs/ 

Felmersham. — Spelt Falmeresham, Flammeresham, D.B. ; 
Felmeresham, T.N. ; Felmersham, I.p.m. ; Fidmeresham, E.T. 
In a charter dated 963, we find a notice of Fiolo-meres ford ; 
and in another, dated 709, we find Feala-mceres hroc (brook) ; 
see Birch, Cart. Saxon, i. 182, iii. 344. The correct spelling 
is Feolu-md'r (with long ce), a man's name. The sense is 
' Feolum^r's home.' 

HiGHAM ; also called Higham Gobion. — Spelt Echam, D.B, ; 
Hechain, Hegham, Heyham, F.A. ; Higham, E.G. ; Heyham 
Gobioun, I.p.m. (a.d. 1301) ; Heyham, E.T. Here hec, ec, heg, 
hey, are all variant spellings of the A.S. heah, Mid. Eng. heh, 
mod. Eng. Jiigh. The sense is ' high enclosure.' The Ordnance 
Maji marks an elevation of 247 feet above the sea. Gobion or 
Gubiun was the name of a family who had land there. 
' Ricardus Gubyun tenet in villa de Hecham/ etc. ; F.A. i. 7 
(1284-6). Named Ricardus Gobion in 1289; A.M. 

Pavexham. — Spelt Paheneham, D.B. ; Pabenham, F.A., 
T.N., I.p.m.; Pabeham, R.B., T.N. For A.S. Paban ham, 
' Paba's home.' The name of Paba is not otherwise known; 
but it is closely related to the Peb- in Pebworth, Gloucester- 
shire, and in Pebmarsh, Essex. 

Studham ; on the borders of Herts., due S. of Dunstable. — 
Already explained in my Place-names of Herts. Spelt Estod- 
ham, D.B. ; Stodham, E.T., H.R. A.S. Stodham ; Thorpe, 
Diplomatarium, p. 374. The o was long, giving later oo, which 
has been shortened before d, like the oo in blood. And the a 
was short, ham here meaning 'enclosure.' The A.S, stod is now 
spelt stud. The sense is ' stud-enclosure,' or an enclosure for a 
stud of horses. So also A.S. stodfald meant ' a stud-fold/ a 
paddock for a stud of horses. ' Compare Stodden (p. 11). 



the suffixes -hanger, -hatch, -head. 27 

18. Hanger. 

A hanger is a well known dialect word, especially in Dorsets., 
Hants., Sussex, and Kent. It means a hanging wood on the 
side or slope of a hill ; from the verb to hang. The A.S. form 
is hangra. It occurs in Moggerhanger and Polehanger. 

MOGGERHANGER, or MoRHANGER (Kelly); near Blunham. — 
Here Morhanger is a mere contraction. Spelt Mogerhanger, 
F.A. ; I.p.m. ; Mogarhangre, CI. Rolls. In Magna Britannia, it 
is spelt Matigerhanger. The name is probably later than the 
Conquest ; and the former part of the name may be Norman, 
viz. from the family name of Mauger or Maugar ; see examples 
in F.A. Bardsley, in his English Surnames, notes that Mauger 
occurs in the Hundred Rolls, with an earlier spelling Malger. 
It is distinct from A.S. Moga, in Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 18. 

Polehanger. — Polehanger Farm lies to the S. of Shefford. 
The prefix is j)robably the same as in Polstead, in Suffolk ; of 
which the A.S. form occurs as Polstyde, in Birch, Cart. Saxon, 
iii. G02. From the A.S. pol, a pool ; dat. pole. The A.S. pol 
was pronounced like the modern E. pole, a pronunciation which 
lasted for many centuries. The word pool is now ascertained 
to be Germanic, and the Welsh pwll to be merely borrowed 
from it. 

19. Hatch. 

Hatch occurs alone ; viz. in Hatch, in Northill (Kelly). 
Spelt Hatche, I.p.m.; Hache, Hacche, F.A. From A.S. hcecce, 
dat. of hcec, fem., a hatch, half-door ; in E. dialects, any small 
gate or wicket. 

20. Head. 

Head occurs in Manshead, the name of a hundred. Spelt 
Manesheve in D.B., an error for Manesheved, or rather Mannes- 
heved, as in H.R. The sense is certainly ' man's head,' whatever 
circumstance may have given rise to it. In my Place-names of 
Hunts., I have shown that Farcet means 'bull's head'; and we 
have two Swinesheads, one being in Lines. 



28 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

SwiNESHEAD.— Formerly in Hunts. Spelt Siuineshefet, D.B. ; 
Siuinesheved, R.C. ; from the A.S, swlnes heafod, lit. ' swine's 
head.' Perhaps a fanciful name of some natural object. 

21. Heath. 

Heath occurs alone ; it lies to the N. of Leighton Buzzard, 
No explanation is needed. 

22. Hill. 

Hill occurs in Ampthill, Clophill, Odell, Puddlehill, Pullox- 
hill, Wroxhill. For Northill and Southill see below, under the 
heading III (p. 33). 

Ampthill. — SipeM Ametelle, D.B. ; AmethuUe, E.T.; Amet- 
idle, F.A. ; Aviethull, I.p.m. ; Amithulle, A.M. ; Atntkull, H.R. ; 
Aunthull, I.p.m. (a.d. 1264). The A.S. hyll, both masc. and 
fem., meaning a hill, is frequently hidle in Middle English, 
and occasionally helle ; so that the above spellings are regular. 
The prefix is the A.S. cemete, an emmet or ant; so that the 
sense is 'ant-hill'; apparently a somewhat jocular appellation. 
As for the spelling ampt, it occurs in the earlier version of 
Wyclif's Bible, Prov. xxx. 25 ; the later version has amt. 

Clophill. — Spelt Clopelle, D.B. ; Clophidle, F.A., E.T. ; 
Cloplndl, T.N., I.p.m. The corresponding A.S. form is clop- 
hyll ; see the note upon clop under Clapham ; at p. 25. 
The sense is uncertain ; perhaps it means ' stubby-hill.' 

Odell. — Spelt WadeJielle, Wadelle, D.B. ; Wadkulle, Wod- 
hidle, H.R, vol. ii. ; Wodhidl, I.p.m. ; Wahidle, F.A., R.B. 
Kelly remarks that Odell Castle is on an eminence ; also that 
Odell is corrupted from Woodhill. The latter statement is 
doubly impossible ; for firstly, place-names are not ' corrupted,' 
but gradually altered in accordance with phonetic laws ; and 
secondly, no one ever called a wood an ode. Those who do not 
sound the w call it 'ood. 

The spellings Wad-, Wod-, show that the first element is 
the A.S. wad, meaning ' woad '; and the sense is ' woad-hill.' 
The Normans, who disliked the sound of tu before o and u, and 



THE SUFFIX -HOE. 29 

sadly neglected the initial h, originated a form which regularly 
became 'oad'ill, from which Odell is hardly distinguishable. 
There is no difficulty. 

PuDDLEHiLL, or Chalk Hill ; " in Houghton Regis ; on 
the rise of a hill, surrounded by chalk hills " ; Kelly. The 
prefix is the ordinary E. puddle. 

PuLLOXHiLL. — Spelt Polochessele, D.B.; Pullokeshulle, F.A., 
E.T. ; Pullokeshull, T.N. ; PidlukesJmlle, PoUokeshille, A.M. 
The modern spelling is ingenious, as it suggests the idea of a 
hill where an ox has to pull; but the old spellings show that 
Pullokes is the genitive of Pidlok, a man's name. 

The spelling in D.B. can be explained. The former o is 
due to the fact that Norman scribes usually wrote o to denote 
the sound of w in full or in pv II. They also used ches to denote. 
the sound of kes. And lastly, the scribe has substituted ele for 
elle or helle, the Norman form of Mid. E. hidle, a hill ; and he 
has needlessly doubled the s. Pullok is not otherwise known ; 
but it is of a like character with the A.S. personal name 
Piittoc ; and also with the modern E. Pollock. It is probably 
a diminutive, like Bullock. 

Wroxhill ; in the parish of Marston Morteyne (Kelly). — 
Spelt Wroxhulle, F.A., A.M. In F.A. we find the name of 
John de Wrockeshale, answering to W7-occesheal in Kemble's 
Index, Wrocces is the gen. of the personal name Wroc ; and 
the sense is ' Wroc's hill.' 

The form Wroccesheal, i.e. ' Wroc's nook,' explains Wroxall 
in Warw. and in the Isle of Wight. There is a Wroxham in 
Norfolk, and a Wroxton in Oxfordshire ; all from Wroc. 

23. Hoe. 

The sufiix hoe or ho is rather common. It represents the 
A.S. hoh, a spur of a hill, lit. ' heel '; and is not to be confused 
with the Northern how, which is of Scandinavian origin, from 
Icel. haugr, a height. 

It occurs in Bletsoe, Cainhoe, Keysoe, Millow, Putnoe, 
Salpho, Segenhoe, Sharpenhoe, Silsoe, Staploe, and Toternhoe. 
Also, in Budna (p. 30). 



30 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE, 

Bletsoe, to the N. of Milton Ernest. — Spelt Blacheshou, 
Blecheshou, D.B. ; Blechesho, T.N., E.T., F.A. ; Bletesho, I.p.m., 
vol. ii. Also Bletnesho, F.A. (a.d. 1316), Cat., I.p.m. In 
D.B. ch before e means k, so that, in the eleventh century, the 
form was Blakesho or Blekesho. The equivalent A.S. spelling is 
probably Blceces-hoh, where Bla^ces is the gen. of Blsec. But 
whether the m was long or short, it is hard to say ; the forms 
corresponding to the modern E. black and bleak involve much 
difficulty, as is pointed oat very clearly in the New English 
Dictionary. Still the e in Bletsoe favours the derivation from 
blSc, ' bleak ' or ' pale.' In later times the name became Blekso, 
and then Bletso or Bletsoe, by the substitution of t for k. The 
occasional form Bletnesho I do not understand. The original 
sense appears to have been ' Blsec's hill-spur'; where Blsec is a 
name originally meaning ' pale one.' 

BuDNA, in Northill. — Short for Budenho ; spelt Bodenno, 
F.A. For A.S. Budan-hoh, i.e. ' Buda's hill-spur' or slope. 
Magna Britannia has Budnahoe, which really means Budenho-ho, 
and repeats the suffix. Buda is a known name. 

Cainhoe. — The manor of Cainhoe was near Clophill, in the 
hundred of Flitt ; D.B. It appears to be the modern Cain 
Hill, in Wrest Park ; there is a Cainhoe Farm just outside the 
park, on the north. Spelt Cainou, Chainehou, D.B. ; Caynho, 
F.A., H.B., I.p.m. This, in A.S. spelling, might be represented 
by Gwganhdh, i.e., ' Ciega's hill-spur.' Ciega is not otherwise 
known, but would be the weak form corresponding to the 
strong form Ccvg, which is preserved in Keysoe (below). 

Keysoe. — Spelt Caissot, Chaisot, D.B., with a needless 
final t. Better Kaysho, T.N., I.p.m.; Gaijsho, E.T., F.A. 
Found in A.S. in the form Caegesho, in a charter dated 793, 
but not an original one. It there refers to Cassiobury or 
Cashiobury in Herts., but this makes no real difference ; for 
Cashiobury is merely another form of Keysoe-bury. A better 
spelling would be Cwges-hoh. Cceg is the A.S. form of the 
modern E. key. The sense is 'Key's hill-spur'; taking Key as 
being a personal name. 

MiLLOW. — Millow and Millowbury Farm lie to the S. of 



THE SUFFIX -HOE. 31 

Duriton. Spelt Melehoti, D.B. ; Melho, C.R. ; Mulnho, F.A. 
Also spelt Milnho in modern times, as in Airy's Bedfordshire 
Domesday. All from A.S. mylen-hoh, meaning ' mill-hillspur,' 
or hill-slope with a mill on it. 

PUTNOE. — Near Goldington. Putnoe Farm and Putnoe 
Wood lie between Bedford and Ravensden. Spelt Putenehou, 
D.B.; Futenho, T.N.; Poutenliou, Puttenho, F.A. Also Puttcmho 
in a late A.S. will ; in Thorpe, Diplomatarium, p. 589. All 
from A.S. Puttan hoh ; the sense being ' Putta's hill-spur.' 
Piitta is a known name. 

Salpho. — Airy (p. 49) notes that " at the S.W. extremity 
of the parish of Ravensden is a hamlet called Salpho, forming 
part of the manor of Salphobury " ; also that " the name of the 
manor, spelt in books and documents Salpho, has become 
curiously corrupted in the mouths of the country-people, who 
call the hamlet Saft End." In the Ordnance map it is Salph 
End. Spelt Salchou, D.B. ; Saleho, Salvho,, F.A. For A.S. 
sealh-hoh, Old Mercian salh-hoh ; where A.S. sealh is the native 
E. word cognate with Lat. salisc, with the same sense of 
' willow.' The form in Chaucer is salwe, and in the sixteenth 
century we find salowe. Salow-ho became Salvo, Salfo, and 
was then spelt Salpho, with ph for /. Safe is from Salf, by 
dropping I; and Saft from Safe, by adding t. The sense is 
'hill-spur near willows.' The Eng. Dialect Diet, notices the 
north-country forms saugh, saf saff, sauf sauve; all meaning 
sallow or willow. 

Segenhoe, near Ridgmount. — -Segenhoe Manor is marked 
on the Ordnance map. Spelt Ser/enehou, D.B. ; SegenJio, F.A., 
A.M. ; Seggeho, A.M. ; Sedgynho, Cat. For A.S. Secga,n-hdh, i.e. 
' Secga's hill-spur.' The A.S. secga meant a speaker, one who 
says a thing, an informant, from secgan, to say. The Mid. 
Eng. segge was freely used in the simple sense of man, or 
person. But the A.S. Secga was also used as a personal name, 
as in the present case. 

Sharpenhoe ; due E. of Harlington. — The hoe or hill-slope 
attains the height of 524 feet above the sea. Spelt Scharpenhoo, 
F.A. ; Sharpenho, Cat. For A.S, Scearpan hoh, i.e. ' Scearpa's 



32 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

hill-spur.' Kemble's Index has Scearpan-nces and Scearpen- 
hdm, both of which contain the same name. Scearpa is the 
weak form of scemp, adj., i.e. sharp; and Sharpe is still in use 
as a proper name. We may therefore equally well explain it 
as ' Sharpe's hill-spur.' 

SiLSOE ; near Wrest Park. — Spelt Seiuilessou, D.B. ; also 
(apparently) Siiuulessov, D.B. ; Sivelesho, R.C. ; Siuelesho, I.p.m.; 
SivelesJio, Sevelesho, Sowenesho, F.A. ; Shivelesho, T.N. The 
form Suuulessou (in D.B.) is indistinct. Perhaps it should be 
Siuuilessou, and it is printed by Airy as Siwilessou. The forms, 
as is so frequently the case, have been much contracted ; 
and, if we may trust to those in D.B., it is most likely that 
Sewil or Siiuil (the latter giving the true vowel) is short for 
Sliuidf, itself a later form of the A.S. Sigewulf, a very common 
name of which we have more than twenty instances. I would 
explain Silsoe as shortened from ' Sigewulf's hoe.' 

Staploe, to the W. of St Neots. — Spelt Stapleho in Magna 
Britannia ; Stapelho, R.C. The A.S. stapol means a post or 
pillar, such as must once have stood upon a neighbouring 
slope. The sense is ' pillar-hillspur.' 

TOTTERNHO, or ToTERNHOE. — Spelt ToteneJiou, D.B. ; To- 
ternho, H.R., F.A. ; Toterho, E.T. The r seems to have been 
needlessly introduced in the unaccented syllable. The D.B. 
form may be more correct, as it answers to the A.S. Totan in 
Totancumb, in Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 557 ; compare Toten-herg 
(a late spelling) in the same, iii. 159. Totan is the gen. of 
Tota, a known name, so that it may mean ' Tota's hoe,' or 
' Tota's hill-spur.' It is probable that tota meant a spy, or 
look-out man ; and that Toternhoe, like Tothill, was a look- 
out hill. The hoe rises to more than 500 feet above the sea- 
level. Perhaps Totene = A.S. totena, gen. pi., 'of the spies.' 

24. Holt. 

Holt is an interesting word, which is now little used except 
in place-names, though it occurs in Tennyson and Bulwer 
Lytton ; see the New Eng. Dictionary. It represents the A.S. 
holt, a small wood, a copse, a small plantation. It occurs in 
Eversholt. 



THE SUFFIXES -HURST, -ILL. 33 

EvERSHOLT ; near Woburn Park. — Spelt Eureshot, D.B. ; 
Eversolt, H.R. ; Everesholt, T.N., E.T., I.p.m. The last form 
is the best spelt. For A.S. Eofores holt, i.e. ' Eofor's holt.' 
As already explained at p. 2, Eof'or was a personal name, with 
the literal sense of ' boar.' 

25. Hurst. 

Hurst represents the A.S. hyrst, a thicket or copse, a place 
overgrown with brushwood. It occurs in Bolnhurst and Graven- 
hurst. 

Bolnhurst. — Spelt Bolehestre, Bulehestre, D.B. ; Bolehurst, 
T.N., F.A., E.T.; Bolnehurst, BoUehurste, Cat.; Bolnherst, F.A. 
Boln represents the A.S. Bulan, gen. of Bida, or Bolan, gen. of 
Bola. Bula, Bola are probably variant forms ; and perhaps 
related to Icel. holi, a bull. The E. hull itself seems to be of 
Norse origin. The sense is ' Bula's hurst' or ' Bola's hurst'; 
possibly equivalent to a modern E. ' Bull's hurst,' taking Bull 
as a personal name. 

Gravenhurst. — Misspelt Grauenhest, D.B. ; but Graven- 
hurst, R.B., E,.C.; Gravenhirst, B.C.; Gravenhurste, I.p.m. Here 
Graven resembles A.S. grcefan, known from its occurrence in 
the Laud MS. of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, under the date 
852, But this word should rather be grcefan (with long «?), 
giving a later form Greven ; see Crawford Charters, ed. Napier, 
pp. 61, 62. We may rather compare it with Graveney in 
Kent, spelt Grafon-aea in 81 1 (Sweet, 0. E. Texts, p. 456), lit. 
' Grafon-stream.' Grafon suggests 'gravel,' which is of Celtic 
origin. Cf Bret, grouan, gravel ; O. French grave, gravel. 

26. III. 

This suffix occurs only in Northill and Southill, which, as 
the old forms prove, should rather be North III and South III ; 
for they have no connexion with the word hill. Ill must have 
been the old name for the stream which, after leaving Southill 
Park, flows past Ickwell and Northill to join the Ivel at 
Girtford. And as the old spellings show, III is merely another 
form of Ivel itself The 111 joins the Ivel before the combined 

C. A. S. Octavo Series. No. XLII. 3 



34 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

stream joins the Ouse. It is even more remarkable that there 
was yet another stream in Bedfordshire once named the Ivel, 
which gave its name to Yielden or Yelden ; which can only 
mean Ivelden ; see p. 12. And there is yet another Ivel in 
Somersets, which flows by Ilchester, formerly called Ivelchester ; 
and another 111 or He, absurdly spelt Isle, which flows by 
Ilminster. The Isle and the Ivel likewise become one stream, 
near Langport. 

NoRTHiLL. — Spelt Nortgiue (error for Northgiuel), Nortgible, 
Nortgiuele, D.B. ; Northgiuele, E.T. ; Northyevele, F.A. ; North- 
givell (1236), I.p.m.; NoHligeuell (1257), I.p.m.; Nortgylle, T.N. 
Observe that Ilchester is spelt Yeaelchestre, A.M. 

None of these spellings will be understood unless it is 
remembered that the Norman scribes often used g to represent 
the A.S. g, which was pronounced like E. y before an e or an i. 
Thus the above spellings really represent yivel, yevel, and yill. 
Another point is that Middle English dropped the sound of 
initial y altogether before an i. Thus the A.S. giccian, Mid. 
E. yicchen, is the modern English itch; the A.S. Gipeswic is 
the modern Ipswich ; and the A.S. gif, Mid. Eng. yif, is now 
spelt if. Similarly, the Early Eng. Yivel became the modern 
Ivel ; and the Early Eng. Yill became the III. There can be 
no doubt as to the result. As Prof. Earle points out, the A.S, 
Gijle in Alfred's Will does not mean Gidley (as Kemble 
guessed), but the Ivel Valley in Somersetshire. The Will only 
exists in a late copy, but the spelling of that name is correct. 
GiJle is a dative case, from a nom. Gifel, in which the g was a 
y, the /was a v, and the i was short. The sense is 'northern 
place upon the Ivel.' 

SouTHiLL. — Spelt Sudgiuele, Sudgible, D.B. ; Southyevele, 
F.A. ; South Giuele, E.T. ; Sutgyle, T.N. The spellings have 
been explained above. It means ' southern place upon the 
Ivel.' 

27. Ing. 

Ing is well known as ' a tribal suffix,' the meaning of which 
will be explained presently (p. 85). It occurs in Knotting and 



THE SUFFIX -ING. 35 

Marston Pillinge. Also in Harling-ton, Shilling-ton, formerly 
Harling-don, Shilling-don, explained under -DOX ; in Stepping- 
ley, explained under -LEY ; in Billing-ton, Carding-ton, Golding- 
ton, Lidling-ton, Pudding-ton, Todding-ton, explained under 
-INGTON ; and in Wrestling-worth, explained under -worth. 
But it also sometimes appears erroneously in modern forms, 
as in Caddin(g)ton (p. 13); Chellin(g)ton, Eggin(g)ton, Stev- 
in(g)ton, Willin(g)ton, Wymin(g)ton (pp. 59, 60). 

Knotting. — The A.S. -ing was a patronymic, meaning 
' son of.' There is a remarkable example in the old North- 
umbrian version of the third chapter of St Luke, where 'the 
son of Heli ' is rendered by Heling ; and the like. Seth is 
called Adaming, i.e., ' son of Adam.' These names in -ing 
were declined as strong substantives, with the nom. plural 
-ingas and the gen. pi. -inga. Thus the son of Golda would be 
called Golding, and the family or tribe descended from Golda 
would be. called the Goldingas, i.e. the Goldings. There is a 
large number of names of this description. 

Knotting lies to the N. of Sharnbrook. The spellings are : 
Chenotinga, D.B. ; Cnottinge, T.N. ; Cnottynge, F.A. ; Cnottyng, 
E.T. The Che in D.B. means no more than K (or C) in this 
instance. It signifies that the Norman had much ado to 
pronounce K before an n, and inserted a short vowel-sound to 
assist him in the process. In the modern E. knot the k is 
simply neglected ; but it was sounded at least as late as 1400. 

But the final -a in the D.B. form is correct. It represents 
Gnotinga, gen. pi. of Cnotingas, i.e. the Cnotings or ' sons of 
Cnot.' The gen. pi. refers to their possession of the holding ; 
it was a place ' belonging to the sons of Cnot.' 

The name of Cnot appears again in the place-name Cnot- 
tinga-hamm or Cnotinga-hamm ; Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 56. 
This corresponds to a Knottingham near Barkham, in Berks. ; 
which no longer exists. There is a Knotting-ley in Yorkshire. 

Marston Pillinge ; near Millbrook station ; not far from 
Marston Morteyne. — It means the Marston where once the 
Pillings resided; just as the other Marston was named from 
the Morteynes. Pilling is still a somewhat common name, and 

3—2 



36 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

may be found in the Clergy List. It means ' a son of Pil,' or 
Pill. There is a Pils-ley in Derbyshire, and there are three 
Piltons. 

Some of the Pilliugs occupied WoOTTON PiLLINGE, about 
a mile to the N.E. of Marston Pillinge. 

The name Marston is explained under -TON (p. 54); it is 
merely ' marsh-town.' 

Weston Ing. — This is the most convenient place for dis- 
cussing the apparent suffix in Westoning, more correctly 
written Weston Ing. It lies to the N. of Harlington, and is 
written as Westoning in Bacon's map and in the Ordnance 
map. But it appears as Weston in E.T. and H.R. ; and as 
Weston Ing in the Catalogue of Ancient Deeds. It means 
' west town,' once occupied by a tenant named William Ing. 
In Feudal Aids, i. 21 (1316), it is called Weston Tregoz 
(probably from a former tenant), but it is noted that there was 
a 'villa' there, tenanted by Willelmus Inge. In the same, i. 7 
(1284), we are told that Willelmus la Souche and Willelmus 
Inge were tenants in Toternhoe. 

It may be added that the provincial E. ing, a meadow, is 
not of English origin, but Norse. There is no example of its 
use in Beds., unless William Ing took his name from it. 

28. Lake. 

FenlakE; in Eastcotts. — Not far from Bedford. Spelt 
Fenlake, CI. R., vol. ii. Lake has not its usual meaning here, 
nor is it connected with Lat. lacus. It is a native English 
word meaning a small stream of running water. The stream 
is marked on the Ordnance map, and flows into the Ouse. 
See Lake, sb. (3) in the New Eng. Diet., and Lake (2), a stream, 
in the Eng. Dial. Diet. The prefix is the A.S./emi, a fen; and 
the sense is 'fen-stream.' 

29. Ley. 

Ley is the usual spelling in place-names of the word which 
we usually spell lea ; from A.S. leak, ' a tract of open ground, 
either meadow, pasture, or arable land'; New E. Diet. The 



THE SUFFIX -LEY. 37 

form ley is really due to the very frequent use of the dative 
case, A.S. leage, lege, in which g had the sound of y. 

It occurs in Aspley, Crawley, Gladly, Hatley, Oakley, 
Prestley, Riseley, Steppingley, Stopsley, Streatley, Thurleigh. 
But not in Willey, though it will be convenient to consider 
this with the rest. 

Aspley Guise. — Spelt Aspeleia (ablative), D.B. ; Aspele, 
R.C, F.A., E.T. ; Aspeley, I.p.m. A.S. yEsplea, in the Aspley 
Charter dated 969, in Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 517. The A.S. 
cesp (also ceps) means an aspen tree. The sense is ' aspen-lea.' 

Guise is a family name. In Feudal Aids, i. 1, we read : 
'Anselnms de Gyse tenet Aspele.' 

Crawley ; as in Husborne Crawley. — Husborne has been 
explained under BoURNE (p. 5). Spelt Graiuelai, D.B. ; Craiueleye, 
Ci'aulai, R.C. ; Grauley, I.p.m. A.S. Crdtuanlea, with reference 
to Crawley in Hants. From A.S. crdwan, gen. of crdwe, fem. a 
crow, also a known female name. The sense is 'Crow's lea'; 
and the genitive case suggests that the Crow was a woman. 

Hatley, or Cockayne Hatley ; due E. of Pottou. — Spelt 
Hatelai, D.B. ; Hattelega, R.B. ; Hattele, E.T., F.A. We find 
' ffit Haittanlea and set Pottune,' in the will of vElfhelm of 
Wrattiug, Cambs. ; Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 630. Hsettan is 
the gen. of Ha;tta, and the sense is ' Hsetta's lea.' 

Cockayne is a family name. The church contains four 
sixteenth-century brasses to the Bryan and Cockayne families. 
' Joh. Cockayn tenet di.fm. in Hattele'; F.A. i. 37 (1428). 

Nares Gladly. — The name of an old manor. Airy says 
of Gledelai in D.B. : — " This manor, situate in the modern 
parish of Heath-and-Reach, taken from that of Leighton 
Buzzard, may still be recognised in the names of Nares Gladly ; 
and though only marked by a small farmhouse, remains a 
manor of itself, distinct from that of Leighton. The modern 
prefix is probably the name of some former proprietor." 

Spelt Gledelai, D.B. ; Gledele, A.M. As gled is an earlier 
variant of Mid. Eng. glad, A.S. glwd (Mod. E, glad), the modern 
name is a fair guide. The A.S. glced meant bright or cheerful 



38 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

as well as glad. The sense may very well have been ' bright 
lea.' In the Flower and the Leaf, a poem written by a lady in 
the fifteenth century, we find it used as an epithet of leaves : 
' a glad light grene.' Compare the name Fairleigh. 

Oakley. — There are six or seven places so called. The 
sense is ' oak-lea,' which is quite consistent with the old 
spellings. Spelt Achelei, Achelaiw, D.B. ; Acelea, Acleia, Acle, 
Occle, R.C. ; Ocleie, A.M. ; Acle, Ode, Okele, F.A. ; Ode, T.N. ; 
Ade, R.B. A.S. Adea, Adeah; with long a, from dc, oak; 
see Kemble's Index. 

Prestley ; a manor in Flitwick. — The Ordnance map has 
Priestley Farm, to the N.W. of Westoning. Spelt Prestelai, 
D.B.; Prestele, F.A.; feodum de Presteleia, R.B. It corresponds 
to A.S. Preostaleage, dative, lit. ' lea of the priests ' or ' priests' 
lea'; Birch, Cart. Saxou. iii. 201. The gen. pi. preosta accounts 
for the final e in Preste, in the old spellings, 

Riseley; to the South of Melchbourne. — Spelt Riselai, 
D.B. ; Risele, R.B. ; Rysele, E.T. ; Riseleg, Risleg, T.N. ; Rysle, 
F.A. I take the name to be descriptive, meaning ' brushwood 
lea'; from A.S. hrls, a twig, branch, prov, E. rise, brushwood, 
undergrowth. 

Steppingley; to the N.W. of Flitwick Wood. — Formerly 
Stepingley, as in Bigot's Atlas (1831). Spelt Stepigelai (for 
Stepingelai), D.B. ; Stepyngle, F.A. ; Stepingele, Steppinggele, 
A.M. These represent A.S. Steapinga leak, i.e. ' lea of the 
Steapiugs or Steepings'; where Steapinga is the gen. pi. of 
Steaping, a son of Steapa. Steapa is a known name, allied to 
A.S. steap, steep, high, lofty. Steapan-leah, i.e. •' Steapa's lea,' 
also occurs ; see Kemble's Index. 

Stopsley ; N. of Luton.— Spelt Stopesle, F.A., lit. ' Stopp's 
lea.' The name Stopp occurs in Stoppingas, i.e. ' sons of Stopp '; 
in Kemble's Index. 

Streatley; to the E.N.E. of Sundon. — Spelt Stradlei, D.B.; 
Stratle, F.A. ; Strateleye, E.T. A.S. Strcetlea ; Thorpe, Diploma- 
tarium, p. 589, with reference to this very place. The sense is 
'Street-lea'; with reference to a vei'y old high-road. Streatley 



THE SUFFIX -LOW. 39 

lies close to the high-road from Luton to Bedford, and the four 
miles of it from Luton to Streatley are so nearly straight that 
it may well have been on the line of an old Roman road. The 
Icenhild Way is not far off. 

Thurleigh ; to the E. of Bletsoe, — Here leigh answers to 
the A.S. nom. leak, a lea, just as ley does to the dat. leage. 
I find a mention of Willelmus de Thorlege; CI. R. As there is 
here no sign of the gen. case, the former element is the A.S. 
Thur, Thor, familiar to us in the gen. case in the word 
Thurs-day. The sense is ' Thur-lea,' a true compound. This 
probably means that the lea was once dedicated, in heathen 
times, to the worship of Thur or Thor, the god of thunder. 
Thiir is the A.S. name, and Thor the Norse name of this once 
renowned divinity. 

Willed, the name of a hundred. — As this has the appear- 
ance of a compound ending in -ley, it will be considered here. 
But it is really a simple word, once spelt with but one I. The 
doubling of the I means that the i was short, as in luill. Spelt 
Wilge, or (in Latinised spelling) Wilga, D.B. ; Wylye, H.R., 
F.A. ; Wile, R.B. The hundred was no doubt named from a 
lost hamlet. The forms answer to the A.S. luelige, dat. of 
welig, a willow ; and the place-name originally meant ' at the 
willow.' The i appears in the Mid. Eng. wihve, and in the 
modern willoiv; also in the A.S. adj. iviliht, abounding in 
willows. So also Willian (Herts.) means 'the willow.s,' nom, 
pi.; and Welwyn (Herts.) means 'at the willows/ dat. pi. 

30. Low. 

As in Henlow. 

The A.S. hlctw, mod. E. loiu, means a burial-mound. Some 
contend that some at least of the lows are older than Anglo- 
Saxon times. That may well be the case, so that the prefix 
may have been used in two senses. If I am right, we may 
explain Triplow in Cambs. as ' Trippa's low '; but it is obviously 
impossible to know in which sense it was Trippa's. He may 
have been buried there, or he may have occupied land in the 



40 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

immediate neighbourhood of a low that had been there for 
some hundreds of years. 

Henlow. — Henlow railway-station is between Hitchin and 
Shefford. Spelt Haneslau, Haneslauue, D.B.; Hanelawe, Hene- 
laue, T.R. ; Henlawe, E.T., T.N., I.p.m. ; Henlow, F.A. The 
forms in D.B. (which do not really differ) are here the only 
important ones \ they preserve an s which is dropped even 
in Hanelawe, which is the next oldest form. The sense must 
have been ' Hann's low.' The name Hann is preserved in 
Hanninffton, Hants., which means ' the town of the sons of 
Hann'; also in two other Hanningtons, in Northamptonshire 
and Wilts, respectively, as well as in three Hanningfields, all 
in Essex. Also in the A.S. Hanninge (for Hanninga), i.e. 
'place of the Hannings'; in Hann-lge, now Hanney or ' Hann- 
island ' in Berks. ; and perhaps in Hansfleot (for Hannesfleot) ; 
see Kemble's Index. In other places, Han- may have a different 
sense; thus Hanbury (Wore.) means * at the high borough,' 
A.S. heanhyrig, and Han well (Midd.) means 'Hana's well.' The 
D.B. form omits the double n, just as it omits the double n in 
the old form of Manshead (p. 27). 

31. Mead. 

Bushmead; in Eaton Socon (Kelly); but much nearer to 
Colmworth. — From hush and mead. The old spellings are 
Bysmede, A.M. ; Bissemede, F.A. ; which are remarkable not 
only for the use of s or ss to denote the sound of sh (not 
uncommon with Norman scribes), but also for the use of i or 
y for the modern u. Bushey (Herts.) also appears in H.R. as 
Bissey ; and the A.S. for ' bush ' must have been bysc. 

In Mr Duignan's Place-names of Worcestershire, he hesi- 
tates to derive Bushley from bush ley (or lea) because the old 
spellings are Biselega (D.B.), Bisseley (Subsidy Rolls), and 
Bushley (in later documents). He adds — "we have no authority 
for accepting the D.B. Bise or the later Bisse- as forms of 
bush." But the examples of Bushmead and Bushey make it 
quite clear that we have such authority ; which solves his 
difficulty. 



the suffixes -mount, -pool. 41 

32. Mount. 

Mount or Mont is a suffix of French origin ; from the Old 
French mont, a hill. 

RiDGMOUNT, or RiDGMONT. — Mr Airy says : — " The name of 
this place, formerly spelt Rougemont — the red hill — is com- 
paratively modern, being compounded of two Norman words, 
and therefore subsequent to the Conquest. At that period the 
whole place was comprised in the manor of Segenhoe." 

I have not found the spelling Rougemont in early times. 
I suspect it to be a mere creation of some guessing antiquary, 
haunted, as usual, by the belief that all names are sure to be 
' corruptions.' 

It is spelt Riigemond in F.A. ; and Ridgmond as late as in 
Magna Britannia (1720—31). In Pigot's Atlas (1831) it is 
Ridgemont. I have no means for deciding the question. 
I think the explanation given above to be very doubtful. The 
spelling Rugemond is indecisive ; for ruge might be a less 
correct form of rugge, the usual Middle English form of the 
modern word ridge; and even mond might represent the A.S. 
mund, or the modern English mound. So that the native 
phrase 'ridge-mound' is far more likely than the alleged 
French form. The question awaits further early evitlence. 
Surely the word 7^ouge was uncommon in Early English ; and 
it could only have given rise to some such form as Rudgemont, 
certainly not to a syllable containing an i. 

4 

33. Pool. 

CoPLE ; to the E. of Cardington — The old spellings are 
curious ; viz. Cochepol, Ghochepol, D.B. ; Coupol, Coupidle, F.A. ; 
Coupid, E.T. ; Couphulle (error for Coapulle), Cat. ; Goupidk, 
Cat. As is often written for short u in D.B., the suffix is pid 
or pidle, answering to the A.S. pid, pull, nom., pulle, dative, 
meaning ' a pool.' The A.S. form exactly answering to the 
modern E. pool is j)dl, with long o, to which pidl appears to be 
related. English dialects also employ the form jou^^, with the 
same sense as pool. It will be observed that, in one instance, 



42 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

the suffix is imlk, which represents the Mid. Eng. 'polk, prov. 
E. 'pulk, meaning 'a small pool,' as it is merely a diminutive 
form of pull, a pool. This variation is a fortunate one, as it 
puts the sense of put or j^idle beyond all doubt. The prefix 
presents some difficulty ; it was evidently changed from the 
earliest form into something different. The later form Gou- is 
the usual later spelling of the A.S. Cu, a cow ; so that the 
sense, in the thirteenth century, seems to have been ' cow-pool.' 
But as the vowel u in the form Cow-pull was short, it was 
easily altered to Cowple, and (the meaning being lost) to Cople. 
But the earliest form was different. Both the spellings in 
D.B. refer to the same sound, which would better be expressed 
by the spelling Coke-pull or Cuke-pull. Of these it is neces- 
sary to select the latter, in which Cuke- became Cuk-, and then 
Cu-, by the loss of k before j). (The form Coke- would have 
given Cok-, and M.E. Co-.) Cuke represents Cucan, the geni- 
tive of Cuca, which appears in Cucan-healas and Cucan-dene ; 
Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 113, 140. Cuca is the weak form of 
cue, a variant of cwic, lit. ' lively/ The sense is ' Cuca's pool.' 

84. Sand. 

Chicksands Priory ; to the W. of Shefford. — Formerly 
Chicksand. Spelt Chicesane, D.B. ; Chikesand, R.B., T.R. ; 
Chikesaund, F.A., H.R. ; Chikesond, E.T., T.N.; Chiksond, I.p.m. 
8ond is a common old variant of sand; the spelling sane in 
D.B. is erroneous. The s should probably be repeated ; in 
which case, the form Chikes answers to an A.S. form Cicces, 
gen. of Cic or Cicc, a name which is not otherwise known ; the 
sense being ' Cicc's sand.' This form has nothing in common 
with the Mid. Eng. chike, shortened form of cliiken, a chicken ; 
for this chike was unknown till after 1300. 

35. Snade. 

Snade represents the A.S. sliced (with long ce), a slice, 
morsel, bit, portion, formed (with mutation of long a to long ce) 
from sndd, the second grade of the root-verb snlthan, to cut. 
It meant a separated jjiece, a strip of land. 



THE SUFFIX -STAPLE. 43 

Whipsnade; to the S. of Dunstable. — More correctly 
Wipsnade; the insertion of the h is late and unauthorised. 
Spelt Wybesnade, F.A., E.T. ; Wibesnade, I.p.m. ; Whipsnade, 
I.p.m., vol. ii. (later). The s should probably be repeated ; in 
which case Wibes corresponds to an A.S. form Wibes, from a 
nom. Wibi; this form is not otherwise known, except as 
appearing again in Wibs-ey, near Bradford, Yorks. Other- 
wise, Wibe must represent Wibban, gen. of Wibba, which is a 
known name ; according to Florence of Worcester, Wibba was 
the father of Penda, king of Mercia. It also occurs in the 
A.S. Wibban-dun, i.e. Wibba's down, perhaps Wimbledon in 
Surrey ; and in the A.S. Wibbe-toft, in Warwickshire (Thorpe). 
The right sense is probably ' Wibi's portion ' ; or else ' Wibba's 
portion.' It hardly matters, as Wibi and Wibba are related 
' strong ' and ' weak ' forms. The A.S. Hiuipstede, in Thorpe, 
Diplomatarium, p. 596, is thought to be Whepstead in Suffolk. 
Certainly, the prefix in it seems to be different. 



36. Staple. 

Staple. — There are two words thus spelt in English. One 
of them denotes the chief commodity of a place ; this is of 
French origin, and has nothing to do with place-names, as is 
usually but erroneously assumed. The other staple, now chiefly 
used of a hoop of iron, is the true English word, though greatly 
changed in sense. The A.S. stapol meant a post or pillar; 
also, something that supports or holds a thing firmly. It 
occurs in Stapleford in Cambs., that is 'a ford marked by a 
fixed pole or post ' ; and also in Dunstable. 

Dunstable. — Spelt Donestaple, F.A. ; Dimstaplia (a Latin- 
ised form), A.M. ; Dunestaple, E.T. Also Dunestapel in the 
A.S. Chronicle, under the year 1125. The Anglo-French 
Dunestapel and Donestaple are to be divided as Dun-estapel, 
Don-estaple ; answering to an A.S. form Dun-stapel, lit. ' down- 
staple,' i.e. 'hill-pillar.' Probably named from some conspicuous 
pillar on one of the neighbouring downs. 



44 the place-names of bedfordshire. 

37. Stead. 

Hence the compound home-stead, a home station, a settle- 
ment, farm ; A.S, hdm-sted. 

WiLSHAMSTEAD, or WiLSTEAD (Kelly); near Bedford. — 
Spelt Winessamestede, D.B. ; Wyleshamstede, E.T. ; Wilshamp- 
sted, F.A. The D.B. spelling solves the name. It is from 
A.S. Wines-hdmstede, where Wines is the gen. of Wini, later 
form Wine, a rather common name. Indeed, the A.S. wine 
simply means ' friend,' though also employed as a personal 
name. The name should rather have been Winshamstead ; 
but I was substituted for n not long after the Conquest. The 
sense is ' Wine's homestead.' The A.S. wine was pronounced 
winny. It occurs again in Wins-low (Bucks.), Wins-hill (Derb.). 

38. Stoke. 

Stoke is closely related to stock, A.S. stoc, a stock, trunk of 
a tree, perhaps also sometimes the stump of a stone cross. It 
occurs in Redbournestoke, once a place-name, but now only 
surviving as the name of a hundred. Spelt Radhurnestoch, 
Radeburnesoca, D.B. ; Radehwnestoke, A.M. ; Redhouiniestoke, 
F.A. ; Radburnestok, H.R. ; Radeborne, Radeburne, R.C. ; Red- 
burne, R.B. 

I have shown, in my Place-names of Herts., that the names 
Radwell and Radnor may fairly be interpreted as meaning, 
respectively, 'red well' and 'red bank'; from the A.S. 7^ead, 
red. So here, I suppose the sense of Redbourne or Radbourne 
to be simply ' red bourne,' i.e. red stream. We find to readan 
burnan, to the red bourne, in Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 587. 
Then Redbournestoke will refer to 'a stump near the red bourn.' 
The comparative redder is spelt raddere in Political Songs, ed. 
Wright (Camden Society), p. 330. 

39. Stow. 

Stoiu means 'a place'; whence the verb to bestow or stow 
away, to put into its place. It occurs in Elstow. 

Elstow. — Spelt Elnestou, D.B. ; Elnestoiu, E.T. ; Elnestowe, 



THE SUFFIX -STOW. 45 

T.N., I.p.m., F.A., H.R., vol. ii. ; Alnestowe, H.R, and Close 
Rolls (1224) ; Alnestow, Aunestow, A.M.; Elnystoiv, F.A. Kelly 
remarks that it was ' formerly Helenstow,' of which there 
is no evidence. It is clearly a guess, in order to explain the 
spelling in D.B. ; the alternative spellings not having been 
observed. Judith, Countess of Huntingdon, niece of William 
the Conqueror, founded a nunnery at Elstow in 1078, which, 
according to Lysons (Magna Britannia, p. 81), was "dedicated 
to the Holy Trinity, St Mary, and St Helen." This is the 
piece of evidence on which the fable was founded, that the 
D.B. Elnes meant ' Helen's.' But in D.B. itself, under Elnestou, 
the nuns are called the nuns of St Mary; and, under Wilsham- 
stead, we are told that " the Countess Judith gave the manor 
in alms to the Church of S. Mary at Elstow"; see Airy's 
Digest. So that, at that date, the church was not called the 
church of St Helen, but of St Mary. Further, the form Elena, 
the A.S. form of Helen, or any French form of the same, would 
not have been cut down to Eln between 1078 and 1086, when 
the Domesday Survey was completed. Thirdly, it is impossible 
that any form of the gen. case of Helen could have appeared 
as Abies or Aimes, or Alne or Aune, at any early date; and 
it may be noted that Alnestoiu is a common form of Elstow. 
I find, moreover, that there was another Abiestowe, the name 
of a hundred in Rutlandshire ; see Rotulorum Originalium 
Abbreviatio, i. 241. This hundred-name is spelt Alsto in 
Bigot's Atlas, and Alstoe elsewhere. 

It is clear to any ene at all accustomed to these old spellings 
that, in the forms Eln-, Aln-, Aun-, we have to deal with a 
much abbreviated form ; and the use of the equivalent prefixes 
El-, AI-, points to the usual abbreviation oi jEthel-, or of uElf-, 
both very common prefixes. The use of yl or ^ indicates the 
A.S. ^, which had the sound of a in apple, intermediate to the 
Latin and A.S. a and e. The -n- is a much reduced remnant 
of some usual suffix, the only three available being -noth, -liun 
and -wine. Practically, the only likely A.S. representatives 
of Eln-, Aln- are ^thelnoth, iElfnoth, ^thelhun, ^Ifhim, 
iEthelwine, and ^Ifvvine ; all fairly common. But ^thelwine 
and iElfwine do not part with the w ; their shortened forms 



46 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

are Ahvin or El win. I think the choice lies between ^thelnoth 
and iElfnoth ; of which the latter is the easier, and occurs 
both as Alnoth and Elnoth. The abbreviation of JElfnothes 
to Alnes or Elnes is certainly possible ; so that all points to 
the probability that Elstow originally meant ' vElfnoth's stow.' 
It is not more remarkable than the proved reduction of 
'Eadwulf's tree' to Elstree. 

By way of further illustration of the difficulty of deciphering 
these contracted forms, I may state that Alston in Wore, means 
'-^Ifsiffe's town'; Alston in Staffordshire means '.^Ifweard's 
town'; Alstone in Glouc. means ' iElfred's town'; and Alston 
in Somersets, means ' ^Elfnoth's town.' See Duignan's Wore. 
Place-names, p. 3. The presence of the -n- helps us in the 
case that we are now discussing. 

I had arrived at this probability as to the origin of Elstow 
when it occurred to me to consult the Domesday Book for 
Rutlandshire as to the old spelling of the other place-name 
which likewise appears as Alnestowe. On opening the record, 
the first name that meets the eye, twice over, is Alfnodestov, 
in large characters. This settles the question, and enables us 
to conclude, past all doubt, that the true old name of Elstow 
was 'iElfnothes stow.' 

40. Thorpe. 

The A.S. tliorp, a village, appears sometimes as an in- 
dependent name. There are Thorpes in Lines., Essex, Norfolk, 
and elsewhere. It is also spelt throp or thrup ; hence we have 
Thrup End, near Lidlington. 

It also appears as a suffix, as in Milnthorpe, i.e. ' mill-village,' 
in Westmoreland. It is noted in the E. Dial. Diet., s.v. Thorpe, 
that Ravensthorpe in Northants. is pronounced Ranstrup. It 
is not doubted that this form -trup or -trop is sometimes 
further altered to -drup or -drop. It appears, accordingly, in 
Soul-drop, which lies to the S.E. of Knotting. 

SOULDROP. — Not in D.B. ; spelt Soldrope, Suldrope, F.A. ; 
Sidthrop, E.T. ; Suldrope, H.R., vol. ii. The form Sulthrop is 
evidently the oldest, and proves that drop resulted from throp. 



THE SUFFIX -TOWN, -TON. 47 

We might explain the spelling Soldrope by help of the 
prov. E. sole, a pool of stagnant water, which is still in use 
in Kent. Several place-names are formed from it ; see the 
E. Dial. Diet. It represents the A.S. sol, a miry pond ; and 
gives the sense as being ' pond-village.' 

But the better spelling of the old prefix is obviously Sul-. 
This represents the A.S. sylu, a miry place, and gives the sense 
of ' mire-village.' It comes to the same thing. 

41. Town, -Ton. 

A large number of place-names end in -ton, the unstressed 
form of totvn, of A.S. tun. The old sense of town was often a 
farm, a home-stead, a farm-house with all its belongings ; it 
was from such a beginning that towns often took their rise. 

Some names end in -ing-ton or -in-ton ; these will be 
considered separately from the rest, in § 42 (p. .57). 

In the first set we have Barton, Beeston, Campton, Carlton, 
Chalton, Charlton, Clifton, Clipstone, Dimton, Eaton, Everton, 
Flitton, Houghton, Kempston, Leighton, Luton, Marston, 
Milton, Potton, Shelton, Staughton, Stratton, Sutton, Weston- 
ing, Wootton, and Wyboston. 

We may also consider Chawston at the same time, though 
it did not end in -ton originally. 

In the second set we have Billington, Cardington, Chelling- 
ton, Eggington, Goldington, Lidlington, Podington, Stevington, 
Toddington, Willington, and Wymington. 

Harlington was formerly Harlingdon, and has already been 
noticed under -DON (p. 14). The same remark applies to 
Caddington, Roxton, and Shillington (pp. 13, 16). 

Barton in the Clay. — There are a large number of 
Bartons, and the word has been explained in the New Eng. 
Diet. Spelt Bertone, D.B. ; Bertune, R.C. ; Berton, I.p.m. It 
meant a demesne farm, or the demesne lands of a manor, not 
let out to tenants, but reserved for the lord's own use. Its 
simpler meaning was merely a ' farm-yard.' From the A.S. 
bere-tun, a barley-enclosure, courtyard, farm-yard. From here, 
barley ; and tiin, an enclosure. 



48 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

Beeston ; near Sandy. — Spelt Bistone, D.B. ; Beston, E.T., 
H.R., R.C. ; Beistime, Besetone, R.B. ; Beestone, F.A. The 
corresponding A.S. form would be Beos tim, where Beos is the 
gen. of Beo, used as a personal name. In the usual sense of 
' bee,' the A.S. beo is indeclinable in the singular, the pi. being 
beon, Chaucer's been. Thus the sense is ' Bee's farm.' The 
name of John Bee occurs in 1428 in F.A. 

Campton. — Spelt Ghambeltone (with Gh for C), D.B. ; 
Cameltune, Kameltuue, R.C; Cameltone,Y.K., KM.. The A.S. 
camel is only known in the sense of ' camel,' borrowed from 
Latin. If this had been adopted as a name, which is unlikely, 
we should have expected the gen. form Cameles. I cannot 
explain this place-name. There is a river named Camel in 
Cornwall ; so perhaps there was once a stream so named in 
Beds. River-names are sometimes of Celtic origin. 

Carlton ; near Chellington. — Spelt Cm^lentone, D.B. ; 
Carletone, R.C. ; Karleton, T.N. ; Carlton, F.A. There are 
many Carltons. Carl is the Norse equivalent of the A.S. ceorl, 
whence Charlton (below). The Old Norse karl, a husbandman, 
was also a proper name. Its combining form is Karla- ; which 
seems to have been treated as an A.S. weak sb., with a gen. in 
-an, thus producing a form Carlantun instead of the more 
nearly correct Karlatun. It is remarkable that Carlton in 
Cambs. is likewise spelt Carlentone in D.B. The sense is 
' Karl's farm.' 

Chalton ; near Sundon. — It seems to be the same place 
as the Cealhtun mentioned in ^thelstan iEtheling's will, 
which also mentions Hocganclif, apparently Hockliffe. The 
form Cealhtun stands for Cealctun, according to the rule that ct 
becomes ht in Anglo-Saxon ; see the explanation of Leighton 
(p. 52). Thus the sense is ' chalk farm.' 

Charlton ; to the S.W. of Blunham. — Misspelt Chalton on 
the Ordnance map ; but D.B. mentions Cerlentone as a manor 
near Blunham.— Spelt Cherletone, R.B., F.A. ; answering to 
A.S. Ceorla tun, ' farm of the churls ' or husbandmen ; ceorla 
being the gen. pi. There are many Charltons. 



THE SUFFIX -TON. 49 

Clifton, to the E. of Shefford. — It is also the name of a 
hundred. Spelt Gliftone, D.B. ; Clifton, E.T., H.R., F.A., T.N. 
From A.S. clif, a cliff, steep slope. The sense is 'cliff farm.' 

Clipstone, in Eggington (Kelly). — Spelt Glipestun, Glipjjes- 
tun, C.R. ; Glipston, R.C. The spelling with final -tun shows 
that the word is Clips-ton, and not Clip-stone, as no doubt it 
is often thought to be. The prefix is Glipes, gen. of Glip, a 
personal name, of which we have one clear example ; see 
Searle, Onomasticon, p. 137. The sense is 'Clip's farm.' 

Dunton, near Eyworth. — Spelt Daintone, Donitone, D.B. ; 
Diminton, T.N. ; Dountone, F.A. The spellings in D.B. cannot 
be right; they are probably meant for Danitone, Donitone; the 
latter being the better. The spelling Diminton explains that 
the name is not compounded of dun, a down, and tun; but 
that the former element represents the A.S. Dimnn, gen. 
of Duna; as in Dunan heafde, Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 603 
(a.d. 947). The long u explains the form Dountone. The 
sense is ' Diina's farm.' 

Eaton. — There are two Eatons ; and it is curious that they 
have different origins, as is apparent from the different early 
spellings. 

Eaton, SocoN.— Spelt Etone, D.B., F.A., R.C, R.B., H.R. ; 
Eton, T.N. Here E- represents the Mid. Eng. e, ee, A.S. ea, a 
stream, a river ; and the sense is ' farm on the stream.' As to 
Bacon, I suppose it is the same as the word usually spelt Soken, 
A.S. socn, and has here the sense of 'a district within which 
certain legal privileges could be exercised.' It occurs in a like 
sense in Piers the Plowman, where there is a reference to 
'Rutland soken'; B. ii. 110. 

Eaton Bray. — Spelt Eitone, D.B. ; Eytone, F.A. ; Eytone, 
Eitone, R.B. ; Eyton, E.T., H.R. So that the modern spelling 
should rather have been Eyton. The prefix is the Mid. Eng. 
ey, O. Mercian eg, A.S. leg, an island ; a term loosely applied 
to any piece of land wholly or even partially surrounded by a 
stream or streams. The sense is ' island farm.' Bray is a 
family name. The church contains the arms of Edmund, Lord 
Braye (Kelly). 

C. A. S: Octavo Series. No. XLII. 4 



50 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

EvERTON, N.VV. of Potion. — Spelt Euretone, D.B. ; Everton, 
I. p.m., T.N. From A.S. eofor, a boar. Literally, ' boar farm.' 
There is an Everdon in Northants., and an Everley in Wilts., 
in which Ever thus appears without the gen. suffix. 

FlittoN; in the hundred of Flitt. — Flitton is "bounded on 
the north by the Flitt, a tributary of the Ouse"; Kelly. There 
is a reference in R.C. to the hundred of Fleytene (error for 
Fleytone) or Flitte. In D.B., both the hundred and the town 
are called Flictham, probably an error for Flittham. We also 
find the spellings Flitte, T.N., E.T., F.A., I.p.m. ; Flitt, H.R. ; 
Flitton hundred, I.p.m. Flitt may suitably denote a stream, as 
being a slightly contracted form of A.S. fleot, a stream, prov. E. 
fleet, a shallow channel. We may explain Flitton as ' the farm 
by the Flitt.' Fletton in Hunts, is from the same A.S. Jleot. 

Houghton Conquest. — Spelt Houstone, D.B. ; Houctone, 
Hougtone, A.M.; Hoctune, Houcton, Hohtmie, Hochtone, Hough- 
tone, R.C. ; Hoiiton, H.R. The s in D.B., and the c, g, ch, gh, 
all represent the final guttural (like the German ch) in the 
A.S. hoh, a spur or slope of a hill. The sense is 'farm on a 
hill-slope.' The same A.S. hoh is the origin of the termination 
-HOE, already discussed (p. 29). 

Kelly notes that the church has two brasses to members of 
the Conquest family, dated 1493 and 1500 respectively. I find 
a mention of John Conquest, of Clopham, i.e. Clapham, in 
1316 ; F.A. In Magna Britannia, it is noted that the patrons 
of the living were then (1720) the Earl of Aylesbury and 
Sh. Conquest, Esq. It is now in the gift of St John's College, 
Cambridge. 

Houghton Regis. — That is. King's Houghton ; with refer- 
ence to William I. In D.B. it is said to be 'the royal demesne 
manor, rated as to ten hides.' 

Kempston. — Spelt Gamestone, D.B. ; Kemeston, Ex. R., 
F.A. ; Coembestune, Kemestone, Kemhestone, R.C. ; Kemmeston, 
CI. R. ; Kemyston, Kemston, Kempston, T.N. The use of a for 
e in D.B. tends to show that the original vowel was ce. It 
could not have been e, as the A.S. Ce becomes Che in modern 



THE SUFFIX -TON. 51 

names. In a charter printed in Kemble, iv. 143, and in 
Thorpe, Diph)mat. p. 381, there is a mention of ' Crangfeldre et 
Kemestan.' Thorpe says that Kemestan refers to Kempston 
in Norfolk, but it rather means Kempston in Beds., which is 
only six miles from Cranfield in a direct line. In footnote 14 
on p. 383, Thorpe gives a much older spelling, viz. Ccembestimce, 
from another MS. Here Ccemhes is the gen. of Ccenib, so that 
the sense is ' Caemb's farm.' No other example of the name 
Ccemb is known, but the A.S. camb means a comb, a crest of a 
cock, or a crest on a helmet, and the last sense might easily 
serve as a distinguishing name for a man. There is a Kempsey 
in Worcestershire, but the D.B. spelling is different, viz. 
Ghemesige, and the A.S. form is Cymesige, probably a con- 
traction for Cymenesige, ' Cymen's isle,' as Mr W. H. Duignan 
suggests in his book on Worcestershire Place-names. The c 
before y remains hard. 

Leighton Buzzard. — Spelt Lestone (with s for A.S. h, as 
often), D.B. ; Leyton, H.R. ; Leyhton, T.N. ; Leyiune, A.M.; 
Leython Busard, E.T. (1291); Leythone Busard, F.A. (1316); 
and Leghton Busard, temp. Henry III., I.p.m. Spelt Leighton 
Beaudesert, Magna Britannia (1720), without any authority; 
but the name was probably given to it to enable some anti- 
quary to discover one more absurd ' corruption ' in place-names. 
Kelly says : " thought to be a corruption of Beaudesert, though 
some have derived it from Bossard, one of whom was Knight 
of the shire in the time of Edw. III." However, the name was 
already spelt Busard even in the time of Henry III. ; and it is 
obviously derived from the name of a family called Busard 
(with one s). No doubt the family name was taken from the 
Mid. Eng. busard, O.F. busart, a buzzard ; such nick-names 
were common at that date, especially if uncomplimentary. A 
buzzard was an inferior kind of a hawk, useless for falconry, 
and so came to be an epithet for a stupid man. The old 
proverb, 'one cannot make a sparrow-hawk of a buzzard,' is 
quoted in the Romaunt of the Rose, 1. 4033, and occurs in the 
French original, which is of early date. It follows that the 
modern spelling Buzzard is absolutely correct. 

4—2 



52 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

As to Leighton, there is no difficulty. There are plenty of 
Leigh tons, because the word simply meant 'garden.' It is 
from the A.S. leah-tun, lit. ' leek-town,' i.e. place for cultivating 
leeks, which was once a general word for vegetables. The 
A.S. for leek is leac; but this became leak on account of the 
phonetic law whereby almost every A.S. ct passed into ht. 
Exceptions are not common ; however, Acton is one. I have 
already explained this in my Place-names of Hunts., a county 
which contains two Leightons and a Leightonstone ; and 
Herts, possesses a Layton. 

Luton. — This interesting place-name has never been 
properly explained. It occurs as Lygtimes, in the gen. case, 
in the Parker MS. of the A.S. Chronicle, under the year 917 ; 
and as Lygetun in a late copy of a charter, in Thorpe, Diploma- 
tarium, p. 403. This has often been said to refer to Leighton 
Buzzard, of which the A.S. form was Leahtun ; but it can 
hardly be contended that yge and eah are the same thing ! 

Yet the matter is extremely simple. The river now called 
the Lea was called in A.S. Lyge ; see the A.S. Chronicle, under 
the year 895, where it occurs as Lygan, in the dative case. It 
is clear that Lyge-tun means ' Lea-town '; and it is a fact that 
Luton is on the river Lea, whilst Leighton Buzzard is not. 

The phonology of the river-name is a little difficult. It 
resembles the A.S. lyge, a falsehood, mod. E. lie, which in many 
Northern dialects became lee, a form used even in Harding's 
Chronicle. Perhaps this helps to explain it. It also remains 
as Lea in the place-name Leagrave. We should rather have 
expected the modern name to have been the Lye ; and it is 
interesting to find that in Magna Britannia (1720) the name 
of Leagrave is spelt Ligrave. 

But it can also be shown, independently of phonology, that 
the A.S. Lygetun must be Luton. In Collections towards the 
History and Antiquities of Beds. (1788), p. 29, it is rightly said 
that Luton, formerly Lygetun, was given by King Offa to 
St Albans in 795. The Charter is extant in Birch, Cart. 
Saxon, i. 867 ; clearly assigning to St Albans some land at 
Lygetun. 



THE SUFFIX -TON. 53 

But in the Collectanea for Bedfordshire, p. 52*, we read : 
" Vicar' in eccl' de Luton, que est Abbat' et Convent' Sti. 
Albani, auctoritate concilii ordinata est hoc modo, A.D. 1209"; 
Reg. in the Bp of Lincoln's Registers ; and there is a note that 
"the abbey held the rectory in their own hands only from 1166 
to 1199; after which they appointed a vicar." This shows, 
beyond a doubt, that Lygetun was Luton. 

At the last reference the name of the place is given as 
Luton, Luytou, or Lee Lauton, and is there explained as 
signifying ' the town by the water,' i.e. by the river ' Lee.' 

It is somewhat surprising that the river Lyge should now 
be spelt Lea, even though we remember that the A.S. g denoted 
a 2/-sound, or a mere glide ; no doubt it became Lie in Mid. 
Eng., with i as in E. machine, just as the adj. dryge (now di^y) 
became diie, with the same i. But there its development was 
arrested ; the final e fell away, and a sound was left which we 
should now denote by Lee. This Lee, which would be the 
correct spelling, has been altered to Lea in comparatively 
modern times by the influence upon the eye of the written 
word lea in the sense of meadow, and is quite unmeaning. It 
does not mean that it would have rhymed with sea in the days 
when sea was pronounced as say. 

But in composition with -ton, the result was different. 
The old spellings are : Loitone, D.B. ; Luitone, F.A. ; Luiton, 
CI. R. ; Luitona, R.C. ; Luyfon, R.C., I.p.m. ; Luton, H.R. Here 
the i or y may represent the glide denoted by the g in Lyge-, 
the final e being suppressed ; the Norman long u being used 
to denote the very sound which in A.S. was written as long y ; 
i.e. the sound of the modified u in the German gi-iin, green. 
After this, the glide-sound was soon entirely lost, so that we 
already find the modern spelling in H.R. ; whilst the u was 
developed precisely as if it had been of French origin, so that 
it is now sounded like the u in lunar or lucid or lucre; or like 
the ui in fruit. * 

Another explanation of the spelling ui is afforded by the 
fact that it was sometimes employed in place of the A.S. y ; 
and perhaps this supposition is the easier of the two, the -ge 
being ignored. 



54 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

Marston Morteyne.— Spelt Merstone, D.B.; Merston,^.^., 
H.R., T.N. ; MersJdon, F.A. There are many Marstons. They 
all mean ' marsh town ' or ' marsh farm.' In F.A. i. 2, I find : 
" Constantinus de Morteyn tenet manerium de Merston cum 
villa de Merston"; a.d. 1284—6. 

In the same parish is Marston Pillinge. For the ex- 
planation of Pillinge, see under -ING (p. 35). 

Milton. — It would be an easy guess to derive Milton from 
mill ; and it would be wrong. 

It is a remarkable fact that a large number of our Miltons 
were once called Middleton, i.e. 'middle farm.' The number 
of Middletons that still remain is surprising ; there are more 
than twenty. 

Spelt Mildentone, D.B. (wrongly); but also Middeltone, 
D.B. (rightly) ; Middelton, H.R., T.N. In the A.S. Chronicle, 
both Milton Abbas (Dors.) and Milton (Kent) are spelt Middle- 
tun. Both Milton Bryant and Milton Ernest were once called 
Middleton. Bryant refers to the family of Brian, and Ernest 
to the family of Ernys. " Bogerus Extraneus tenet . . . un. f m. 
in Middelton per heredem Roberti Brian, qui est tanquam in 
custodia sua, de heredibus de Bello Campo (Beauchamp), et 
idem heredes de rege " ; F.A. i. 1 (1284 — 6). "Johannes Ernys 
et alii quondam tenuerunt di.fm. in Midyltone"; F.A. i. 38 
(1428). 

PoTTON.— Spelt Potone, D.B. ; Potton, H.R., T.N., R.C., 
F.A., E.T. Spelt Pottune, dat., in the will of ^Ifhelm of 
Wratting, Cambs. ; Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 630. It doubtless 
stands for Pottantun, i.e. ' Potta's farm.' The name of Pot or 
Potta may also be inferred from the tribal name Potting, 
which occurs both in Potting-dun and in Potting-tun ; both 
are in Kemble's Index. 

Shelton ; in the N. end of the county. — Spelt Eseltone, 
Esseltone, D.B. ; Sceltone, F.A. ; Shelton, T.N. In D.B. the s 
or ss is a makeshift for the sound of sh, which did not exist in 
Norman. The A.S. symbol was sc. The prefixed E in the 
D.B. forms is very characteristic ; as the Normans could not 
easily pronounce the E. sh without a preparatory vowel-sound. 



THE SUFFIX -TON. 55 

Hence such forms as establish, especial, as parallel to stablish, 
special. The A.S. form with the same prefix is Seel f dune , 
dative ; Earle, Land Charters, p. 396. Scelf-dun is a com- 
pound, meaning 'shelf-down,' or 'down with shelving slopes,' 
applied to the neighbouring hill. And Shelton, for Shelf-ton, 
means ' the sloping-hill farm.' There is a Shelton in Stafford- 
shire with the same origin (see Duignan's Staffs. Place-names); 
and there are Sheltons in Norfolk and Notts. 

Staughton ; called Little Staughton or Staughton Parva. — 
Great Staughton is in Hunts., and is explained in my Place- 
names of Hunts, as equivalent to Stockton. The spellings 
Stoctone, Stokton, Stoutone, all in F.A., corroborate this. For 
the explanation of stock see Redbournestoke, explained under 
Stoke (p. 44). The sense is ' stock farm,' or ' farm near a 
stump.' The ct in A.S. stoctun became ght precisely as the 
ct in A.S. teac-tun became ght in Leighton. See the expla- 
nation of Leighton (p. 52). 

Stratton. — Stratton Park lies to the S.E. of Biggleswade. 
Spelt Stratone, D.B. ; Stratton, F.A. Lit. 'street town,' or the 
farm beside the street. The street is the Old Roman Way 
which extends, almost in a straight line, from Biggleswade to 
Baldock. 

Sutton ; to the S. of Potton. — Spelt Sudtone, Suttone, D.B. ; 
Suttone, R.C. ; Sutton, E.T., F.A. The spelling Sudtone is 
intermediate between Sutton and the original A.S. Suthtiin. 
The sense is merely ' south farm.' There are more than forty 
Suttons. 

Westoning.— Not in D.B. ; spelt Weston, E.T., H.R. ; 
Weston Ing, Cat. The suffixed Ing has ali-eady been explained 
under -iNG (p. 36). The sense is 'west farm,' lit. west-town; 
and it was once tenanted by Wm. Lig. There are nearly 
thirt;]^ Westons. 

Wootton ; to the S.W. of Bedford.— Spelt Otone, D.B. ; 
Wodetone,^.K\ Tf o^fo??, F.A. , E.T.; Witon,B..U. The spelling 
Otone, for Wotone, is due to the loss of w before o or u in 
Norman ; they called a wood, a 'ood. The spelling Witon 



56 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

points back to a very old time, when the early A.S. form widu, 
a wood, was still in use, and is in this case dialectally pre- 
served ; the more usual form is wudu, whence E. wood. The 
literal sense is wood-town, i.e. ' wood farm.' There is still a 
wood at Wootton, called Wootton Wood. There are a dozen 
Woottons and three Wottons. 

Wyboston ; in Eaton Socon. — It lies to the W. of Little 
Barford. Spelt Wiholdestone, D.B. ; Wyholdiston, H.R. The 
sense is obviously ' Wigbald's farm.' Wighald is the Mercian 
spelling of the A.S. Wlgheald, a known name of which there 
are six examples. Wig means ' war,' and heald means ' bold.' 
There is another Wyboston in Hunts., which I have already 
thus explained in my Place-names of Hunts., on less clear 
evidence. Wobaston in Staffordshire is only another form of 
the same word, and is explained from the same source in 
Duignan's Place-names of Staffs. 

Chawston. — This is the most convenient place for con- 
sidering Chawston, though this name did not originally end 
in -ton. It lies to the N. of Roxton. Spelt Chauelestorne, 
Calnestorne (for Caluestorne), D.B. ; Calvesterne, R.B. ; Chalm- 
stern (probably an error for Chaluistern), H.R. ; Ghalvesterne, 
R.C., F.A., I.p.m. ; Chalsterne, F.A. As to this difficult form, 
of which neither element is "at all certain, I can only guess. 
Perhaps some one else may hereafter interpret it better. As 
to the former element, we can best reconcile the two forms in 
D.B. by supposing them to represent Chalves and Calves. 
I think these answer, respectively, to the A.S. Cealfes and 0. 
Mercian Calfes, genitives of A.S. Cealf and O. Merc. Calf, 
modern E. calf, respectively. This requires that chalf should 
be a dialectal form for calf but there is evidence for this form 
only in the Kentish dialect. For Kentish, it is quite certain ; 
for in the A.S. versions of the Gospels, in Luke xv. 27, the two 
Kentish MSS. have the readings chealfand chalf The develop- 
ment of the sound of cea- is difficult ; for while the A.S. cealf 
answers to the modern E. calf, the A.S. cealc answers to the 
modern E. chalk; a fact of which I do not remember to have 
seen an explanation. My theory is that, whilst the A.S. cealf 



THE SUFFIX -INGTON. 57 

was superseded by the O. Merc, calf (whence the modern E. 
calf), the A.S. Gealf considered as a proper name, produced a 
Middle English form Chalf whence a later Chauf; the genitive 
of which would be Ghalves, later Chauves, and finally Chaws. 
We have no evidence that the A.S. Cealf was used as a 
personal name, but the use of the names of animals as personal 
names has always been common in English ; and in Bardsley's 
work on English Surnames, we are told, with reference to the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, that "Richard le Calf, Godwin 
le Bulloc, Roger le Colt are all of common occurrence, and still 
abide with us." 

The second half of the word is also very difficult. I suppose 
the D.B. suffix -to7"n to represent the A.S. tliorn, a thorn. The 
change from the difficult sth to the simple st would be natural 
enough, especially for a Norman. That this is right, is rendered 
probable by the alternate form -tern, which would equally well 
represent the A.S. thyme, a thornbush, I have shown, in my 
Place-names of Hunts., that the place-name Bythorn (by the 
thorn) was originally called Bytherne (by the thornbush); and 
the name was naturally altered when the old Avord theme 
became obsolete. 

I would explain in a like manner the name Woodmansterne, 
in Surrey. A very likely sense is ''woodman's thornbush.' 

The result of my guesses as to Chawston is that it originally 
meant ' Cealf's thorn ' or ' Cealf's thornbush.' All that is 
certain is that the modern ending -ton is delusive, and that it 
cannot have formerly meant ' town ' or ' farm.' 

42. The suffix -ington. 

I now come to consider the names that end in -ington. 

They can (with some trouble) be divided into two sets. In 
the former, the ending is correctly used and refers to tribal or 
family settlements. But in the latter it is used erroneously, 
and has been substituted for something else. 

In the former class are included the following: Billington, 
Cardington, Goldington, Lidlington, Podington, and Toddington. 

In the doubtful class are included the following : Chelling- 
ton, Eggington, Stevington, Willington, and Wymington. 



58 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

BiLLlNGTON, to the S. of Leighton Buzzard. — Billinges, 
RC; Billing, Billinghure, Ji.B. Literally 'form of the Billiugs,' 
or of the sons of Billa. Billa is a known name. The Billings 
are further commemorated in Billingborough (Lines.), Billing- 
ford (Norf ), Billingham (Durham), Billinghay (Lines.), Billings- 
hurst (Sussex), and in the famous Billingsgate. 

Cardington. — Ill-spelt Chernetone, D.B.; Kerdingtone,U.C.; 
Kerdington, H.R., F.A., E.T. ; Kerdyngton, I.p.m. Apparently, 
' the farm of the Cserdings,' or of the sons of Cserda. The 
name Ca^rda occurs in Cserdan-hlsew, i.e. Cserda's low or burial 
mound; see Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 147. There is another 
Cardington in Shropshire. 

GoLDiNGTON. — Spelt GoUentoiie, D.B. ; Goldington, T.N., 
E.T. ; Goldingtlione, F.A. It is the 'farm of the Goldings or 
sons of Golda'; which is a known name. 

LiDLlNGTON. — The d is incorrect ; it should certainly be 
Litlington. Spelt Litincleton, D.B. (incorrectly) ; Litlington, 
T.N. ; Litlingtune, A.M. The same as Litlington in Cambs., 
which is also spelt Lutlington. As i and u both result from an 
A.S. y, the A.S. form would be Lytlinga-tun, i.e. ' farm of the 
Lytlings'; from A.S. lytel, modern E. little. The name of 
Eadric Lytle (spelt litle) occurs in Birch, Cart. Saxon, iii. 369 ; 
and the name Lytelman (little man) occurs in Searle's Ono- 
masticon. I think this explanation better than the one given 
in my Place-names of Cambs., where I wrongly supposed that 
Lidlington (Beds.) is correctly spelt with a d ; whereas the d is 
modern. 

PoDiNGTON, or PuDDiNGTON ; in the N.W. corner of the 
county. — Spelt Podintone, D.B. ; Podingtone, F.A. ; Podington, 
T.N., E.T. The Normans used o to denote both the o in pod 
and the u in pudding ; so that the old spellings tell us nothing. 
If we are guided by the spelling Puddington, we may take the 
name to mean 'farm of the Pudings' or sons of Puda : which 
is a known name. The alternative is to take Poddings as 
meaning 'sons of Podda'; which is also a known name, 

ToDDiNGTON. — Spelt Dodindoue (for Todindone), Dodintone 



THE SUFFIX -INGTON. 59 

(for TocUntone), D.B. ; Todinyedon, H.R. ; Todingduna, A.M. ; 
Todingdon, F.A., E.T. ; Todingtone, R.B. ; Tudingdone, A.M. 
The suffix thus seems doubtful, but the uame may have been 
two-fold ; in which case Todingedoii would refer to a hill, and 
Todingeton to a farm near it. 

As the Norman o often signifies an A.S. u, we may pay 
especial attention to the spelling Tudingdone, and to the much 
later spelling Tuddington, given in Magna Britannia (1720). 
The tribe or family referred to must be, I think, the Tudings, 
or sons of Tuda (originally, according to Sweet, pronounced 
with long u). Tuda is a well-authenticated name, and occurs 
in the A.S. Chronicle. We even find Tudincgatun, probably 
Toddington, in Thorpe, Diplom. p. 527. 

I now proceed to consider the second class of names ending 
in -ington, which do not really refer to names of tribes or 
families. 

Chellington ; near Harrold. — Not in D.B. Spelt Chelwin- 
tone, Chehventone, Chelvi/ntone, F.A. ; Chelwinton, I.p.m. ; Chel- 
vynton, I.p.m., vol. ii. ; Chelinton, T.N. ; Cheleton, A.M. The 
prefix represents Geolivynne, gen. of Geolwynn, a female personal 
name. Female names are not common, but a few clear examples 
occur, probably from the occupation of a farm by a widow. 
The genitive of a fem. strong sb. ends in -e instead of -es, and 
regularly disappears in later forms. The sense is ' Ceolwynn's 
farm,' 

Eggington ; E. of Leighton Buzzard. — Spelt Egginton in 
Magna Britannia (1720); so that the intrusion of the g is 
quite modern. There is another Eggington in Derbyshire, 
which is spelt Eki/nton, Egindon in F.A. ; Eginton, I.p.m. ; 
Egentona, A.M. Perhaps the prefix answers to A.S. Ecgwynne, 
gen. of Ecgwynn, a known female name. The A.S. eg regularly 
denoted gg. The sense is ' Ecgwynn's farm.' It can hardly 
mean * Ecga's farm,' as that would have become Egton. There 
is an Egton in Yorkshire. 

Stevington, or Steventon (Kelly) ; to the E. of Turvey. — 
Spelt Stinentone, D.B. ; Stiventon, Styventon, R.C. ; Stivinione, 
Steventojie, R.B. ; Steventone, Stevintone, F.A. Stiven represents 



GO THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

an A.S. form Sty/an, gen, of Sty/a, in which the / was pro- 
nounced as V. This name is not recorded, but occurs in the 
diminutive form Styfec at least thrice. From the genitive 
Styfeces was formed the name of Stetchworth, Cambs. ; see my 
Place-names of Cambs., p. 27 ; and also Stechford in Worcester- 
shire. And from the weak form Styfeca is derived the name 
of Stukeley in Hunts. The sense is ' Styfa's farm.' The 
change from Stiventon to Steventon was doubtless owing to 
the influence of the Norman name of Stephen. There is 
another Steventon in Hants., and another in Berks. 

WiLLiNGTON ; to the E. of Bedford. — Spelt Welitone, D.B. ; 
Wyliton, E.T. ; WiUinton, F.A., p. 50 (1316). The D.B. form 
is the oldest and the best ; Weli answers to A.S. welig, a 
willow-tree. The sense was probably ' willow farm.' See the 
explanation, under -LEY, of Willey, as the name of a hundred 
(p. 39). 

Wymington, in the N.E. corner, near Puddington. — Spelt 
Wimentone,T).^.\ Wimetone, KM.; Wimenton, Wymenton,(u\.^.; 
Wemyngtone, F.A. ; Wyminton, Cl.R., vol. ii. ; Wyminton, Wym- 
ington, H.R., vol. ii. The evidence plainly suggests an A.S. 
form Wiman, gen. of Wima. But no such name as Wima is 
known. It may stand for Wilma, or we may suppose that the 
name is old, and has been much contracted ; perhaps from 
Wigmund. There is no old authority for the alternative spell- 
ing Wynnington, as in Kelly. 

43. Tree. 

Only in Wixamtree, the name of a hundred. The place 
itself is now lost ; but the sense is certain. Spelt Wichestane- 
stou, D.B., where the suffix is E. stow, a place ; Wixtonestre, 
Wyoctonestre, F.A. ; Wya;co7iestre, H.R. ; with the very common 
clerical error of c for t. The D.B. spelling Wichestan evidently 
represents Wikestan, a Norman form of the common A.S. name 
Wigstan or Wihstan, compounded of wig, war, and stem, stone. 
The A.S. hs is often replaced by a;, so that the later form 
Wixton accurately represents Wihstan. In the A.S. Chronicle, 



THE SUFFIXES -WADE, -WELL. 61 

under the date 800, Wihstan is also spelt Weohstan and 
Weoxtan. The name Wixamtree means ' Wigstan's tree.' 

44. Wade. 

Wade is the A.S. weed, a ford, a place where a stream can 
be waded through, cognate with (but not borrowed from) the 
Latin uaduni, a ford. 

Biggleswade, a town, and the name of a hundred. — Spelt 
Bichelesuuade, D.B. ; also, erroneously, Pichelesivade, and even 
Bichelesuiiorde, D.B. ; Bikeleswad, H.R. ; Bikeleswade, E.T., 
A.M., I.p.m. ; Bicleswade, T.N. The prefix answers to an A.S. 
form Bides, gen. of Bicel, diminutive of the known name Bica, 
which, according to Sweet, had a long i. The nom. Bicel 
would become Bichel in later English, but the ^-sound would 
be preserved in the gen. form Bides, in which the e before the 
I would be dropped in A.S., though it would readily be rein- 
serted by a Norman scribe. The old name must at first have 
been pronounced as Bickleswade, and the ' voicing ' of ck to gg 
took place later. The sense is ' Bicel's ford.' 

45. Well. 

As in Holwell, Ickwell, Radwell, Sewell. 

Holwell ; near Shillington, to the E. — Misspelt Holywell 
in Philips' Atlas. Spelt Holewelle, D.B., B.B., R.C. ; Hulewell, 
T.N. ; Holiuelle, E.G. We find cet Holeiuelle in a late charter, 
in Kemble, vi. 211 ; and an earlier form to Holan luylle, with 
reference perhaps to Holwell in Oxfordshire, in Birch, Cart. 
Saxon, ii. 568. Here holan is the dat. of hoi, adj., hollow, and 
wylle is the dat. of wyll, a well. The sense is 'at the hollow 
well'; in the dative case. 

Ickwell ; in Northill (Kelly). — Spelt lekewelle (for Yeke- 
welle), F.A. (1346); Gikewelle, Gykeivella (with G for Y), A.M. 
The Mid. Eng. yek, yeke, means a cuckoo, and is derived from 
the A.S. geac, a cuckoo. The form yek was shortened to yik, 
and then the initial y was dropped ; see this illustrated under 
Northill (p. 34). The sense is ' cuckoo-well.' 



62 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

Radwell; to the N.W. of Milton Ernest. — Spelt Radeimelle, 
D.B. ; Radewelle, F.A. ; Radevell, T.N, I have discussed this 
name with reference to Radwell in Herts., where I give two 
solutions. It either means ' Rseda's well,' or else simply ' red 
well.' I believe the latter is right ; see the notice of Red- 
bournestoke, under the heading Stoke (p. 44). 

Sewell ; in Houghton Regis (Kelly); near Toternhoe. — 
Kelly notes that Houghton Regis church contains an effigy of 
Sir John Sewell, knight. But Sewell was at first a place- 
name, and is spelt Sewelle in D.B. ; compare ' Joh. de Sewelle,' 
F.A. And we find it as Seuewella in A.M. I suppose it to be 
the same as the A.S. Si/fan wylle, i.e. ' Syfa's well,' mentioned 
in a Hants, charter dated 938 ; see Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 444. 
The A.S. Syfan would become Seue (Seve) in Norman ; and 
the passage from Sevewell to Sewell is easy. The A.S. Syfan 
is the gen. of Syfa, a personal name that is not otherwise 
known, though it may possibly be related to Seofeca. 

46. Wick. 

As in Astwick, Flitwick, Hardwick, and Hinwick. 
Wick represents the A.S. wlc, a village ; not a native word, 
but borrowed from Lat. uicus. 

Astwick. — Spelt Estuuiche, D.B. ; Estwike, F.A. It means 
' east village.' 

Flitwick ; bounded on the S. by the river Flitt.— Spelt 
Flicteuuiche (with ct for tt), D.B. ; Flettewyk, T.N. ; Fletteiuyc, 
E.T. ; Flitteivike, A.M. ; Fletewyk, I.p.m. It means ' village by 
the Flitt.' The spelling Flete represents the A.S. Jleot, a 
stream. See the remarks on Flitton (p. 50). 

Hardwick, to the S.W. of Felmersham. — Spelt Herdwic, 
H.R., vol. ii. ; Herdwik, F.A. Hardwick in Cambs. is from A.S. 
heorde, a herd or flock. The sense is ' herd-village.' There are 
several Hardwicks. 

HiNWiCK, near Puddington. — Haneuuic, Heneuuic, Hane- 
uuich, Heneuuich, D.B.; Henewike, F.A. ; Henewic, Cl.R., vol. ii.; 



THE SUFFIXES -WOLD, -WORTH. 63 

Hyneivik, H.R., vol. ii. ; Hineiuik, H.R., vol. ii. The prefix 
answers to A.S. Hanaii, gen. of Hana, a personal name. The 
sense is ' Hana's village.' The literal meaning of hana is a 
cock ; the feminine is the modern E. hen. 

47. Wold. 

Wold is a late form of the O. Mercian luald, A.S. weald, a 
wood. It now often means a tract of open country. 

Harrold. — Spelt Hareuuelle, D.B. ; Harewold, F.A., T.N. ; 
Hareuuald, Harewaud, C.R. ; Harewolde, I.p.m. The D.B. 
form means ' hare-well,' and will not account for the modern 
form ; the latter means ' hare-wold,' the lu being dropped. 
Shakespeare has old for wold; King Lear, iii. 4. 125. 

48. Worth. 

As in Colmworth, Edworth, Eyworth, Tebworth, Tilsworth, 
Wrestlingworth. 

The A.S. worth was applied to an enclosed homestead or 
farm. It is closely allied to luorth in the sense of ' value'; and 
may be taken to mean ' property ' or ' holding,' or ' farm.' 

Colmworth, to the E. of Bolnhurst. — Spelt Colmeworde, 
Gidrneuuorde, D.B. ; Cohnwyi^the, E.T. ; Colmetvorthe, F.A. ; 
Golmiuorth, H.R The prefix answers to A.S. Culman, gen. of 
Oulma; and the sense is ' Culma's farm,' We do not find the 
exact form Culma elsewhere, but we find the related strong 
form Cidm ; and (with mutation of u to y) we also find both 
Cylma and Cylm. See Searle's Onomasticon. 

Edworth. — Spelt Edeuuorde, D.B. ; Edesiuorthe, Edeworth, 
F.A. ; Edeworth, E.T. ; Eddewurth, T.N. ; Eddeiuorthe, I.p.m. 
The prefix answers to Eadan, gen. of Eada (with long Ea), a 
pet-name for any of the numerous names beginning with Ead-, 
as Eadwine, Eadweald, &c. The prefix Edes- in F.A. intimates 
that the name may once have been used in full ; and if the 
name Edwoldeshowe in H.R. refers to Edworth, the full name 
was Eadweald. The sense is ' Eada's farm,' possibly ' Ead weald's 
farm.' 



64 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

Ey WORTH. — Spelt Aieuuorde, D.B. ; also Aisseuuorde, D.B. ; 
Eyiuorthe, H.R. ; Eyiuorth, T.N., E.T., I.p.m., F.A. We may 
compare the prefix Ey- with the prefix in the old forms of 
Eaton Bray (p. 49); and so explain it as 'island -farm.' 
Eyvvorth is on a promontory between two rivers, and has 
streams both on .the north and south-east. The form Aisse- 
uuorde, if correct, is hard to explain ; so that, in that case, the 
name remains unsolved. But it is probably a mistake. 

Tebworth ; between Hockliffe and Chalgrave. — Spelt 
Thehworth (with Th for T), A.M. ; also Thehheiuorthe, Tehurthe, 
A.M. Fortunately, the A.S. form of the name occurs as Teohban- 
wyrthe, in the dat. case, in a charter relating to Chalgrave and 
Tebworth, dated 926 ; see Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 335. Thus 
the sense is ' Teobba's farm.' 

TiLSWORTH; to the N.W. of Dunstable. — Misspelt Pileworde, 
D.B. ; Tulesworthe, H.R. ; Tideswoi^th, Ttdlesworth, F.A. ; Toles- 
tuorthe, R.B. The only A.S. known name that suits the prefix 
is the A.S. Tugel, occurring in Tugeles mor, ' Tugel's moor,' in 
a charter dated 1044 ; see Kemble, Cod. Dipl. iv. 90, 1, 8. As 
the A.S. g in such a word was a mere glide, and disappeared in 
the thirteenth century (so that, e.g. the A.S. tigel became tile 
in 1. 1533 of the Cursor Mundi), the A.S. Tugeles would 
necessarily become Tides in H.R. The o in Tolesworthe is due 
to the frequent use of o for u by Norman scribes. A likely 
sense of Tilsworth is ' Tugel's farm,' But this is only a guess. 
If we could find such an A.S. form as Tull, it would fit better. 
We find the weak form TuUa. 

Wrestlingworth. — Spelt Werateuuorde, Warateuuorde, 
D.B.; Wraslingwrthe, E.T.; Wrastlmgiuorth, F.A., Cl.R., vol. ii.; 
Wrestlingworth, H.R. The spellings in D.B. are valueless, 
owing to the inability of the Norman scribe to deal with the 
sound ; but the use of tuar, wer, to denote wr is striking. The 
true A.S. spelling is Wrcestlingawor^th, meaning ' farm of the 
WrsBstlings ' or of the sons of Wrsestel. Wrsestel is a scarce 
name, but the gen. Wrgestles occurs in the place-name Wi'cestles 
hyll, i.e. Wrsestel's hill ; Birch, Cart. Saxon, ii. 535. The 
literal sense of wrcestel is 'one who wrests' or twists, but it 



THE SUFFIX -YATE. 65 

very likely had the sense of wrestler, of which the usual form 
is lurwstlere. There is a real connexion with the modern verbs 
to wrestle and to wrest. 

49. Yate. 

Yate is the A.S. geat, a gate. It occurs in Markyate. 

Markyate; transferred to Herts, in 1897. — Spelt Mark- 
yate, E.T., I.p.m, Formerly called Markyate Street, often 
contracted to Market Street, because it lies on the famous old 
road called Watling Street. The word mark means ' boundary'; 
and the sense is ' boundary gate,' It is just on the boundary 
between Beds, and Herts. 

.50. Miscellaneous Names. 

All the principal names that involve distinct suffixes or 
epithets have been discussed. A few more may be noted ; 
most of the places are of little consequence. 

Beadlow ; near Clophill. — I find no early mention of it ; 
but it probably represents A.S. Bedan lilceiv, i.e. 'Beda's burial- 
mound.' See Bedford (under Ford, p. 19); and -low (p. 39). 

Brogborow, or Brogborough. — Brogborough Middle Farm 
lies to the N. of Ridgmont. In F.A., vol. ii., the spellings 
Brochury and Brogbury occur, with reference to a place in 
Herefordshire. So no doubt Brogborough stands for an older 
Brokborough, where Brok- is a shortened form of Brook, as in 
other cases. In fact, Brogborough is probably the Brockeherge 
mentioned in A.M. iii. 171. The sense is 'brook-fort.' 

Broom ; in Southill. — Spelt j5ro7w, R.B. The reference is 
simply to the plant so called. 

Chiltern. — Chiltern Green lies to the S.E. of Luton. Spelt 
Giltern in the A.S. Chronicle, under the date 1009. In Birch, 
Cart. Saxon, iii. 52, there is a reference to Cilte wudu, i.e. 
' Cilte wood'; and again, at p. 415, to Cilte cumhe, i.e. 'Cilte 
combe,' now Chilcombe (Hants.). Giltern is compounded of 
Gilt- or Gilte and mi^n, em, a small house, habitation, cottage. 
C.A.S. Octavo Series. No. XLII. 5 



66 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

The meaning of Cilte is not known. Gilt looks like a feminine 
personal name, with a genitive in -e. 

End. — There are a large number of places of which end 
forms a part. The signification is that of limit or boundary, 
the beginning or end of a piece of property, and the like. In 
most cases, local knowledge will supply the sense. There is a 
good example of its use in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in the 
Parson's Prologue, 1. 12: 'As we were entringe at a thropes 
ende,' i.e. as we were arriving at the first beginning of a village. 

Most of the examples need no explanation ; I may instance 
Box End, Brook End, Bridge End, Hatch End, Kitchen End, 
Wood End, etc. 

Haynes, or Hawnes. — The latter is the older form. Spelt 
Hagenes, D.B. ; Haunes, E.T. ; Hawenes, F.A. ; Hawnes, I.p.m. 
It appears to be the genitive sing, from a nom. Hagen, a 
personal name ; the word ham, home, or something equivalent, 
being omitted. We do not find the exact form Hagen, but the 
allied weak form Hagena occurs thrice, with variant forms 
Hagana, Hagona, and Haguna ; all personal names. Also, the 
Latin gen. Hagani, as if from Hagan, which may be right. 
The change from A.S. ag to modern E. aw is regular and 
common. 

Holme. — Holme Farm and Holme Green lie to the S. of 
Biggleswade. They take their name from a hohri beside the 
river Ivel. The original meaning of holm is an island, but it is 
also applied to a piece of flat low-lying ground by a river or 
stream, submerged or surrounded in time of flood (New Eng. 
Diet.). From the Norse holmr, a meadow on a shore. Spelt 
Holme, F.A. ; Holm, H.R., vol. ii. 

Hyde. — West Hyde lies to the S. of Luton Hoo Park. 
The name Hyde is the same word as when we speak of a hide, 
or measure of land. From A.S. hlgid, a hide of land. 

Kensworth. — Originally in Herts., but transferred to Beds, 
in 1897. The prefix represents the A.S. cenes, gen. of cen, 
which is the modern E. keen. But Cen was used as a personal 
name. We may explain it by 'Keen's farm'; as Keen is a 
personal name still. 



MISCELLANEOUS NAMES. 67 

PiCKSHiLL ; near Turvey. — Spelt Pixhill in Magna Britannia 
(1720); absurdly spelt Pictshill{\) in the Ordnance map. Spelt 
Pikeshulle, F.A., R.B. The prefix is the A.S. Pices, gen. of 
Pic, answering to the modern E. Pike as a surname. Pices 
occurs in Thorpe, Diplomatarium, p. 617. Thus the sense is 
' Pike's hill.' 

Reach. — Heath and Reach form a parish. They lie to the 
N. of Leighton Buzzard. Reach in Cambs. was spelt Reche in 
1279, H.R. It is the same word as the modern E. reach, in 
the sense of extension, extent, range, or stretch of country. 

ROWNEY. — Rowney Warren is to the S.W. of Southill 
Park. Though the immediate district is not quite an island, 
it is much surrounded by water, having streams on both the 
north and south sides. It is spelt Runheye in C.R. ; where 
heye is a frequent Norman spelling of the Mid. Eng. eye, an 
island, or a piece of land partially surrounded by water. The 
spelling Row)i- shows that the u in Run- was long ; and it 
probably represents the A.S. ruiuan or rugan, dat. of m/i, 
rough ; an epithet that is remarkably common in place-names. 
Kemble's Index shows ruwan cnol, rough knoll, riiwan hartwias, 
rough enclosures, rugan die, rough dike, rUigan hege, rough 
hedge, rugan hlinc, rough linch, ruwan leak or 7'uan leak, 
rough lea, etc. The usual sense of ruh, as regards land, is 
' uncultivated.' Thus the sense of Rowney is ' uncultivated 
tract, nearly surrounded by water.' As is usual, it is in the 
dative case, which accounts for the n. A very striking instance 
of a similar use of n occurs in Newnham, where Neivn is the 
dative of New. 

Sextons ; near Wilden. — Mr Airy rightly identifies it with 
Segy^esdone in D.B. This Segresdone represents an English 
perversion of the 0. French and Norman secrestein, now spelt 
sexton, which was also used as a personal name. It means 
that it was once owned by a Norman named Secrestein. 

SOMERIES Farm ; to the S.E. of Luton. — From the personal 
name Somery, spelt Somei^y and Swnery in F.A.; where we 
find mention of the surname de Somery, showing that Somery 
had previously been a place-name. Somery represents an A.S. 



68 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

sumer Ig, ' summer island.' Compare the place-names Somer- 
cotes, Somerford, and Somerton. 

Sudbury ; a manor of Eaton Socon. — Spelt Subberie, D.B. ; 
Suthbur, T.N. Literally, ' south bury.' Compare Sutton, i.e. 
' south town.' 

Thickthorn. — Mentioned in Magna Britannia (1720). 
Thickthorn Farm is to the N. of Houghton Conquest. The 
sense is obvious. 

Thorn ; in Houghton Regis (Kelly). The sense is obvious. 

TiNGRiTH ; near Westoning and Harlington. — Spelt Tingrei, 
D.B. ; Tingrie, F.A. ; Tingrije, C.R., F.A. ; Tingri, F.A., A.M. ; 
Tingrithe, A.M. ; Tingeriz, I.p.m. Here the Norman scribes 
usually dropped the final th, which they could not at first 
pronounce ; one of them ingeniously substitutes the Norman z, 
which was sounded as ts. But the English spelling Tingrithe 
is right. The name presents difficulties. Ting is not an 
English word, but the Danish equivalent of A.S. thing, a place 
of meeting, a court. Ritlie is the prov. E. yithe, A.S. rlth, 
masc, rlthe, fern., a small stream. The sense is 'stream where 
a meeting was (once) held.' Ting occurs again in Ting-ley 
Junction, in Yorkshire (Bradshaw), and in Ting-wall Kirk, 
near Lerwick, in the Shetland Isles. The traces of Danish in 
Beds, are very slight, but this is one of them. 

Upbury, between PuUoxhill and Wrest Park. — Spelt Up- 
berry in Magna Britannia (1720). Up means 'high up' or 
' high.' And see Bury (p. 8). 

Wrest Park, — Formerly Wrast ; Wraste hamlet (1308), 
H.R. ; Wrast (1307), Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edw. I. From 
Wrast as a personal name ; A.S. wrwst, noble, excellent. 

•51. Remarks. 

I add a few notes on some of the Norman spellings found 
in D.B. and in some of the other early records. 

The vowel e has two or three values. It sometimes repre- 
sents the A.S. e, as in Dene, Dean, for A.S. denu ; sometimes 
the A.S. y, as in Melebroc for mylenbroc ; and sometimes even 



CONCLUDING REMAEKS. 69 

the A.S. ea, as in Celgrave from A.S. cealc. In one instance it 
represents the A.S. long ce, as in Meldone for Mceldun, Maldon. 

The vowel o is frequently used for the A.S. u, especially 
before ?i ; as in the numerous names in -tone, for A.S. tim. 

The chief peculiarities of Anglo-French spelling are enume- 
rated at the end of my Notes on English Etymology, p. 471. 

I here notice some examples, numbering the cases as they 
are numbered there : — 

1. Norman scribes sometimes dropped initial h ; hence 
Ametelle in D.B. for Amet-helle, Ampthill; Glopelle in D.B. for 
Clop-helle, Clophill ; Wadelle in D.B. for Wad-helle, Odell. 

2. They wrote s for sli ; as in Sernebroc, Sharnbrook ; 
Sepford, Shefiford ; sometimes even prefixing E, as in Eseltone, 
Shelton. In the middle of a word they wrote ss, as in Bissopes- 
cot for Bishopscot or Biscot. 

5. They often dropped lu before o ; hence Wootton ap- 
pears in D.B. as Otone. 

9. Ght was a difficult sound for them, as it represented 
the A.S. ht. They sometimes wrote st for it ; as in Lestone in 
D.B. for Leighton. 

10. Final Id was difficult. Hence Granfelle m D.B. for 
A.S. Cranfeld, Cranfield, 

12. Final nd sometimes became n. Hence Chicesane in 
D.B. for Chicksand. 

13. They substituted n for ng. Hence Goldentone in D.B. 
for Goldington, 

14. For final t they sometimes wrote th, which did not 
represent the E. th (as in heatJt) but a strongly pronounced t 
followed by an aspirate or slight splutter. Hence Sethlindone 
in D.B. for Shitlington. This remarkable form has S for Sh 
(see 2) ; e for A.S. y (see above) ; th for t ; n for ng (see 13) ; 
and for A.S. u (see above). 

We may also note the use of che for ke, and ce for che, as in 
modern Italian. Hence D.B. has Pechesdone for Pekesdone, 
Pegsdon ; Rochestone for Rokesdone, Roxton ; Achelei for 

5—3 



70 THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 

Akelei, Oakley ; and conversely, Celgrave for Ghelg7xive, Chal- 
grave. 

Conclusion. 

The chief point to be noted as to the place-names of 
Bedfordshire is their thoroughly English character. Traces of 
foreign influence are indeed slight. 

The only traces of Latin influence occur in Streatley, 
Stratton, and Market Street as another name for Markyate. 
The words mill and wick are also ultimately of Latin origin ; 
and the word bishop (in Biscott) is Greek. Of Celtic (exclusive 
of names applied to rivers) the only traces occur in Tempsford 
(from the river-name Thames) ; in Campton (if from the river- 
name Camel); in Luton, if the name of the Lea is of Celtic 
origin; and perhaps in the prefix of Gravenhurst. The word 
down, whence the suffix -don, was originally Celtic. 

Of Scandinavian, the traces are likewise extremely slight. 
The most noticeable are the prefixes in Boln-hurst, Carl-ton, 
and Ting-rith ; and the name Holme. 

Of the times when the Saxons were still heathens, there 
seem to be traces in Sundon and Thurleigh ; and certainly in 
Harrowden. 

To the Normans we probably owe the original form of the 
prefixes in Meppershall, Moggerhanger and Stagsden; and the 
name of Sextons. Of Norman families there are several 
traces, as in the names of Eaton Bray, Houghton Conquest, 
Higham Gobion, Leighton Buzzard, Marston Morteyne, Milton 
Bryant, Milton Ernest, and Cockayne Hatley. 

But nearly all the rest of the names are wholly English 
in regard of speech ; and the speech, like that of Hunts., 
was that of the early Mercian Angles. And Bedfordshire is 
likewise certainly to be included among the counties which 
have helped to form the standard literary language of the 
British Empire and of the United States of America. 



INDEX. 



The following is an alphabetical list of the place-names and suffixes 

explained above. 

The numbers refer to the pages. 



Amptbill, 28 
Arlesey, 17 
Aspley Guise, 37 
Astwick, 62 

Barford, 19 
Barton, 47 
Battlesden, 13 
Beadlow, 65 
Bedford, 19 
Beestou, 48 
Biddenham, 25 
Biggleswade, 61 
BillingtoD, 58 
Biscott, 9 
Bletsoe, 30 
Blunham, 25 
Bolnhurst, 33 
-borough, 5 
-bourne, 5 
-bridge, 7 
Brogborough, 65 
Brombam, 25 
-brook, 7 
Broom, 65 
Budna, 30 

-bury, 8 
Bushmead, 40 



Caddington, 13 
Caiuhoe, 30 
Caldecote, 9 
Campton, 48 
Cardington, 58 
Carlton, 48 
Caulcott, 9 
Chalgrave, 22 
Chalton, 48 
Charlton, 48 
Chavvston, 56 
Chelliiigton, 59 
Chicksand, 42 
Chiltern, 65 
Clapham, 25 

-cliff, 8 
Clifton, 49 
Clipstone, 49 
Clophill, 28 
Cockayne Hatley, 37 
Colmworth, 63 
Cople, 41 

-cote, -cot, 9 
Cranfield, 17 
Crawley, 37 

-den, -dean, 10 
Dean, 10 



72 



THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 



-dish, 12 

-down, -don, 13 
Dunstable, 43 
Dun ton, 49 

Eastcotts, 9 
Eaton, 49 
Eaton Bray, 49 
Eaton Socon, 49 
Eddlesborough, 5 
Edwoith, 63 
Eggington, 59 
Elstow, 44 
End, 66 
Eversholt, 33 
Everton, 50 
-ey, 17 
Ey worth, 64 

Farndish, 12 
Felmersham, 26 
Fenlake, 36 

-tield, 17 
Flitton, 50 
Flitwick, 62 

-fold, 18 

-ford, 19 
Froxfield, 18 



Heath, 28 
Henlow, 40 
Higham, 26 

-hill, 28 
Hinwick, 62 
Hockliffe, 8 

-hoe, 29 
Holcote, 10 
Holme, 66 

-holt, 82 
Holwell, 61 
Honeydon, 15 
Houghton Conquest, 50 
Houghton Regis, 50 
Howbury, 8 

-hurst, 33 
Husborne Crawley, 5 
Hyde, 66 

Ickwell, 61 
-ill, 33 
-ing, 34 
-ington, 57 

Kempston, 50 
Kensworth, 66 
Keysoe, 30 
Knotting, 85 



Girtford, 20 
Gladly, 37 
Goldington, 58 
-grave, 22 
Gravenhurst, 33 

-hale, 23 
-ham, 24 
-hanger, 27 

Hardwick, 62 

Harlington, 14 

Harrold, 63 

Harrowden, 14 

Hatch, 27 

Hatley, 37 

Hawnes, 66 

Haynes, 66 
-head, 27 



-lake, 36 
Langford, 20 
Leagrave, 22 
Leighton Buzzard, 51 

-ley, 36 
Lidlington, 58 
Limbury, 8 

-low, 39 
Luton, 52 

Manshead, 27 
Markyate, 65 
Marston Morteyne, 54 
Marston Pillinge, 35, 54 
Maulden, 15 

-mead, 40 
Melchbourne, 6 
MeiDjiershall, 23 



INDEX. 



73 



MiUbrook, 7 
Millow, 30 
Millowbury, 8 
Milton, 54 
Moggerbanger, 27 
-mount, 41 

Nares Gladly, 37 
Northill, 34 

Oakley, 38 
Odell, 28 

Pavenham, 26 
Pegsdon, 15 
Pertenhall, 23 
Pickshill, 67 
Podington, 58 
Polehanger, 27 

-pool, 41 
Potsgrove, 22 
Potton, 54 
Prestley, 38 
Puddlehill, 29 
Pulloxhill, 29 
Putnoe, 31 

Kadwell, 62 
Eavensden, 10 
Reach, 67 

Eedbournestoke, 6, 44 
Eenhold, 24 
Eidgmount, 41 
Eiseley, 38 
Eowney, 67 
Roxton, 16 
Euxox, 16 

Salford, 21 
Salpho, 31 

-sand, 42 
Sandy, 17 
Segenhoe, 31 
Sewell, 62 
Sextons, 67 
Sharnbrook, 7 
Sharpeuhoe, 31 



Shefford, 21 
Shelton, 54 
Sbillington, 16 
Silsoe, 32 

-snade, 42 
Someries Farm, 67 
Souldrop, 46 
Soutbill, 34 
Stagsden, 11 
Stanbridge, 7 
Stanford, 21 

-staple, 43 
Staploe, 32 
Staughton, 55 

-stead, 44 
Steppingley, 38 
Stevington, 59 
Stoddeu, 11 

-stoke, 44 
Stondon, 16 
Stopsley, 38 
Stotfold, 18 

-stow, 44 
Stratton, 55 
Streatley, 38 
Studham, 26 
Sudbury, 68 
Sundon, 16 
Sutton, 55 
Swineshead, 28 

Tebworth, 64 
Tempsford, 21 
Thickthorn, 68 
Thorn, 68 
Thorncote, 10 

-thorpe, 46 
Thrup End, 46 
Thurleigh, 39 
Tilbrook, 7 
Tilsworth, 64 
Tingrith, 68 
Toddington, 58 
Totternho, 32 

-town, -ton, 47 

-tree, 61 
Turvey, 17 



74 



THE PLACE-NAMES OF BEDFORDSHIRE. 



Upbiuy, C8 

-wade, 61 
Warden, 17 

-well, 61 
Weston Ing, 36, 55 
Whipsnade, 43 

-wick, 62 
Wilden, 11 
Willey, 39 
Willington, 60 
Wilshamstead, 44 
Wilstead, 44 
Wingfield, 18 



Wixamtree, 60 
Woburn, 6 

-wold, 63 
Wootton, 55 
Wootton Pillinge, 36 

-worth, 63 
Wrest Park, 68 
Wrestlingworth, 64 
Wroxhill, 29 
Wyboston, 56 
Wymington, 60 

-yate, 65 
Yielden, Yelden, 12 



CAMBRIDGE : PRINTED BY JOHN CLAY, M.A. AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. 



D 



'^h 



THE LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

Santa Barbara 



STACK COLLECTION 



THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE 
STAMPED BELOW. 



10m-6,'6'J(C9724sl)476D 



UC SOUTHERN RFGIOr.AL L IRRARY FACILITY 





A A 000 330 612 3 



'F"^>r 









ilillP 






ill 

liliil 






• 1. :. ' .. , » 1- 



:-^'^! 



•■.:-'vnm:^ 






?')'■'■■'?■ '■'■:"^:' ■■$1 



■;,'' 'I'^H^^^^^H 


l'V'..'^:.'';i^^:'''!i^^^| 




;,;;^;;;i::-;.;^w^;;;|::.::k«( 



' vV V-  






5;